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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Academics & Research

National report reveals research necessity

A UH researcher was part of a blue ribbon committee formed by the National Research Council to discuss why university research is important for the US as it competes with other nations in the amount of research it has done.

In June, the National Research Council released a report, “Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security.”

The report was composed to assess the health of the country’s research and to inform on ways it can remain competitive internationally.

This document is targeted at the US Congress, which requested the report in order to inform how important and essential research universities are to the nation on a global scale and what must be done in order to maintain competitiveness and ensure research is still conducted.

The advice from the report suggests that funding and partnerships with universities, Congress and corporations can assist in the improvement of the amount of research being conducted.

Paul Chu, UH pioneer in superconductivity, served on the committee that developed this report.

He founded and serves as executive director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity, which continues to develop important research and advanced materials.

Chu could not be reached for comment.

Currently, the United States has led in the amount of research conducted compared to other nations, said Ioannis Pavlidis, associate professor and researcher. Despite this, there are still some concerns that must be addressed.

“Overall the United States remains the lead,” Pavlidis said.

“However, its lead has eroded and, in specific fields, has receded altogether.”

A specific area of concern includes engineering, Pavlidis said. It has not had a grand project in contrast to other countries.

In order to continue to remain competitive with other countries, support from Congress is necessary.

Funding is usually done through government agencies, like the National Institutes of Health.

“The unique partnership between NIH and the research universities and other funded organization is critical to the future of our nation and the health of the people of the world,” said Sally Rockey, NIH deputy director for extramural research.

“NIH-supported research continues to lead to breakthrough technologies, treatments and preventive approaches to many devastating diseases and conditions.”

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