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The American Competitive Initiative: Leading the World in Innovation
The number of engineers graduating from U.S. institutions has slipped 20 percent in recent years to fewer than 60,000 a year.

Yet the number of engineers graduating annually in China has increased by 160 percent to more than 200,000. Japan and India each are graduating more than 100,000 engineers a year. And if this trend persists, the National Science Foundation predicts, more than 90 percent of the world's scientists and engineers will live in Asia by 2010.

To address this issue, the top White House adviser on science and technology will headline Purdue University 's Discovery Lecture Series at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, in the Loeb Playhouse, Stewart Center. John Marburger III, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and a former university president, will outline President Bush's initiative to bolster the federal government's efforts in science and technology learning and research.

The lecture, titled "The American Competitive Initiative: Leading the World in Innovation," is sponsored by Purdue's Discovery Park and the Lilly Endowment. Marburger's talk is free and open to the public.

The Association of American Universities, in its white paper "National Defense Education and Innovation Initiative: Meeting American's Economic and Security Challenges in the 21st Century," calls on this nation's leaders in higher education, industry and government policy to help stem the dwindling number of U.S. engineers coming out of our universities.

The initiative also asks that more federal funding be allocated for education and research funding in science, math and engineering and to counter what has been characterized as the "Gathering Storm" in this nation.

Before his appointment to the White House post in the summer of 2000, Marburger had been was director of Brookhaven National Laboratory since 1998. He was president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island from 1980-1994. In the fall of 1994, he returned to the Stony Brook faculty, teaching and conducting research in optical science.

Marburger was born on Staten Island, N.Y., and grew up in Maryland near Washington, D.C. He attended Princeton University, earning a bachelor's degree in physics and then received a doctoral degree in applied physics from Stanford University.

Discovery Park, which was launched in 2001, is a cluster of interdisciplinary research centers designed to connect Purdue faculty, researchers and students from many disciplines on campus for tackling grand challenges in fields such as health care, nanotechnology, alternative energy sources, homeland security, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, cancer treatment, systems engineering, the environment, cyber infrastructure, and innovative learning.

Now a $300 million enterprise, Discovery Park also has fostered more Purdue collaboration with industry and researchers from other universities.

Lilly Endowment provided a $1 million endowment for the Discovery Lecture Series at Purdue to bring prominent speakers to campus and earmarked endowed funds to be used in support of a Discovery Park undergraduate student research internship program.


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