September 21, 2010

Vice President Biden, University Leaders Discuss Impact Of Stimulus On Research And Innovation

Among American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's legacies may be the knowledge to solve society's greatest challenges related to health, energy and the environment

The presidents of six leading research universities and two higher-education associations joined Vice President Joe Biden and White House science advisor Dr. John Holdren this morning to discuss the scientific research and related activities that have been made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Participating in the event held in the Roosevelt Room of the White House were France C³rdova, president, Purdue University; Ron Daniels, president, The Johns Hopkins University; Elson Floyd, president, Washington State University; Amy Gutmann, president, University of Pennsylvania; J. Bernard Machen, president, University of Florida; Mark Yudoff, president, University of California; Robert Berdahl, president, Association of American Universities; and M. Peter McPherson, president, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus, contained $21.5 billion for scientific research, the purchase of capital equipment and science-related construction projects.  While thousands of jobs have been created directly or retained as a result of this funding, the focus of this morning's discussion was on the basic research and discovery that would not have been possible if not for the ARRA.  Although the investment was less than 3 percent of the $787 billion stimulus measure, the money represented an historic infusion of funding for research.  It was also an affirmation of the essential role scientific inquiry and discovery play in both short-term recovery and long-term economic growth. 

No other event in recent history has had a similarly positive impact on basic research in the U.S.  Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has infused critical areas of research with needed resources, sped up work that would have taken years to complete, and enabled many of the nation's best and brightest minds to pursue novel research ideas that could yield potentially huge rewards.


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