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November 13, 2013

Purdue VP for research to testify before Congressional panel

Richard O. Buckius

Richard O. Buckius 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Richard Buckius, Purdue University's vice president for research, will testify Wednesday (Nov. 13) in Washington, D.C., before a congressional panel.

He will testify at 10 a.m. Eastern time before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Technology and Space Subcommittee on Research and Technology. The House is considering passage of the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2013.

Buckius will stress that federally funded research in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields is critical for national economic competitiveness. The hearing will be streamed live at http://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-research-and-technology-hearing-keeping-america-first-federal-investments.

"Economic reports suggest that over the past decades more than 50 percent of economic growth in the U.S. is an outcome of federally funded research resulting in new innovations," he said.  "Furthermore, research funded with federal dollars prepares the next generation of innovators needed to advance the U.S. economy."

However, economic factors are threatening to restrict future research funding, said Buckius, who previously served as assistant director of the National Science Foundation's Directorate of Engineering, which sets the engineering research and education agenda for NSF.

"With limited resources, tough choices based on national priorities for basic science investment must be made," he said.

The FIRST Act, put forth by the Subcommittee on Research and Technology chaired by Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), focuses on national needs for research and development, including improved technology transfer and commercialization of federally funded research and development.

"Moving discoveries from the bench to the marketplace is a high priority for Purdue," Buckius said. "Purdue is committed to improving the commercialization rate of new discoveries and technologies realized and created on our campuses. We appreciate the provisions in the bill that would improve technology transfer and commercialization of federally funded R&D."

To address the nation's competitive need for graduates with STEM degrees, Purdue will increase the College of Engineering faculty by 30 percent in the next five years and increase the number of graduates. Purdue also has committed to grow the Department of Computer Science by 25 percent and transform the College of Technology into a Polytechnic Institute where curriculum will be more experiential and project-based to encourage innovative thinking among its students.

Purdue's research portfolio includes $240 million in federally funded research projects annually, which is a significant portion of the university's overall expenditures in sponsored program research of $640 million. Purdue is a public land-grant university educating more than 75,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year throughout the state. 

Media Contact: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu 

Source: Richard Buckius, 765-494-6209, rbuckius@purdue.edu 

Note to Journalists: Buckius is pronounced buck-eye-us