New Hampshire Gains Federal
UNH Leads Effort to Develop Science
& Technology Public-Private Partnerships
Contact: Sharon Keeler
UNH Media Relations
September 29, 2004
DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire is poised to both
lead and benefit from a new state initiative that makes New Hampshire
a member in the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program
to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
EPSCoR focuses on those states that have historically received
lesser amounts of federal research and development funding, and
are committed to developing their research bases and improving the
quality of science and engineering research conducted at their universities
and colleges. Including New Hampshire, the program operates in 24
With an annual budget of more than $100 million, EPSCoR's goal
is to "maximize science and technology resources as a foundation
for economic growth through partnerships among universities, industries,
state government and the federal research and development enterprise."
EPSCoR aids researchers and institutions in securing federal R&D
funding, and is managed at the state level by a planning group drawn
from business, government and academia. In addition to NSF funding,
EPSCoR opens the door to research dollars from the Department of
Defense, DEA, and NASA, among others.
New Hampshire's EPSCoR program is led by UNH and will initially
be directed by John Aber, vice president for research and public
service. According to Aber, New Hampshire was awarded a $200,000
planning grant in August to assess the state's strengths in science
and technology, as well as those areas "ready to make a jump."
The planning group -- which includes Aber; John Crosier, president,
NH Business and Industry Association; Dave Stewart, president Poly
Roll, Inc.; Stephen Reno, chancellor, University System of New Hampshire;
Roger Sloboda, assoc. provost for research, Dartmouth College; John
Thomas, representative of the New Hampshire General Court (legislature);
and Thomas Wisbey, president, N.H. Community Technical College,
Manchester/Stratham -- is working with NorthStar Consulting in Madison,
Wis., and Rainey & Associates of Burlington, Vt., on the science
and technology report, which was partially completed before EPSCoR
status was secured.
The report's findings, to be completed July 1, 2005, will guide
the future program. It will also include a comprehensive statewide
analysis of existing barriers and possible solutions to improve
research competitiveness, as well as determine science and engineering
focal areas that represent exceptional opportunities.
"New Hampshire is poised to make significant strides in public-private
partnerships to support economic growth," says Aber. "The
goal of the New Hampshire EPSCoR program is to then maximize the
potential of science and technology resources and use those resources
as a foundation for this growth." EPSCoR provides funding in
three key areas: infrastructure improvement, research and
educational grants and outreach initiatives. Potential resources
are up to $9 million over 36 to 48 months.
Many EPSCoR states have used their funding to advance or begin
new initiatives that have benefited their economies. Lousiana, for
example, expanded its research in micro- and nano-scale science
and technology. Maine has used EPSCoR resources to support its Environmental
Sensor Research Group - which spun off two startup companies --
and Rhode Island is enhancing its training and education for students
in science and engineering to better connect the workforce to new
jobs being created.
"EPSCoR will allow us to infuse money into research areas
and new programs that best meet the need of New Hampshire companies
and the state," Aber says. "It will also foster change
in educational programs and practice, and redefine research opportunities
for our graduate and undergraduate students. Public and private
sectors will be sharing and supporting common goals."
For more information on EPSCoR and funding opportunities, visit
the program homepage at http://www.epscor.unh.edu.