Rochester ‘a crucible of innovation’ says NSF director during campus visit

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Source: University of Rochester

Members of Congress seconded the director’s assessments with calls for increased federal funding for Rochester and the Finger Lakes region.

During a visit to the University of Rochester, National Science Foundation director Sethuraman Panchanathan said the University is a “phenomenal place of innovation,” noting Rochester’s crucial role in advancing scientific research.

Panchanathan, along with US Senator Charles Schumer and US Representative Joseph Morelle, visited Rochester on Monday. As part of the visit, Panchanathan met with researchers and students and toured several of the University’s facilities, including the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, to learn more about how NSF investments at the University are pushing the frontiers of science and helping drive America’s technological leadership.

“This is the number one place. Why? Because of the ideas, innovation, talent, and the environment all coming together,” Panchanathan said. “This is a crucible of innovation, and I saw that firsthand today.”

He continued, “It was just unbelievable watching the amazing ideas, the amazing talent, the amazing impact, the amazing innovation that is coming out through every one of those students, postdocs and faculty members, and researchers.”

In addressing a group in Goergen Hall on the River Campus, Schumer discussed pending US competitiveness legislation currently being considered by Congress. The Senate’s US Innovation and Competition Act and the House’s America COMPETES Act would make significant investments in federal research and development, entrepreneurship, STEM education and workforce training, and domestic manufacturing. Schumer and Morelle are pushing federal officials to invest in Rochester and position the Finger Lakes region as a next-generation growth center.

Schumer said the acts would “significantly scale support for research hubs like Rochester to ensure the nation remains on the cutting edge of new innovation” and that the investments would “supercharge work by the regions’ key economic drivers, including UR and RIT, two of the premier science universities in the entire nation.”

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