Spending bill brightens UR’s innovation prospects; LLE to receive $75M
After facing the possibility of losing funding, the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics stands to gain $75 million, an increase of $7 million, in fiscal 2018 as part of the spending bill signed by President Donald Trump.
“This important funding package makes key investments in the people, research, and education here at the University of Rochester. It recognizes the critical role that America’s research universities play in our global economy,” said University President Richard Feldman. “The $75 million investment in the LLE and its nationwide network of scientists who come to Rochester to perform high energy density physics research is especially significant, and we are grateful for the support from our Congressional delegation, especially the late Louise Slaughter, and for their advocacy on behalf of this critical research center.”
The university also could benefit from increased funding for the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and Deparment of Defense—all key players that propel UR research. These agencies are essential partners with the University of Rochester to pioneer innovation in areas such as biomedical research, optics, photonics and imaging.
The bill includes a $3 billion increase for the NIH (8 percent); a $868 million increase (15 percent) for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science; a $295 million increase (3.9 percent) for NSF; as well as an increase in the Pell Grant program, which assists students in obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
“This funding makes a profound statement that the United States is committed to the nation’s research program and values science at all levels, including educating future generations of scientists,” said Rob Clark, University provost and senior vice president for research. “With this federal support, research universities like ours will continue to have a direct impact on improving human health and well-being, job creation through innovation, national and economic security, and our country’s scientific leadership.
In the final spending bill, Congress rejected many of the cuts and program eliminations proposed by the Trump administration in its FY18 budget request and instead provided increases to federal investments in scientific research, education, student aid, and health care programs.
Over the past five years alone, the University has attracted nearly $1.8 billion in sponsored research funding to the region which, in turn, has translated into new discoveries, technologies, jobs, and companies.