UD Daily

By Andrea Boyle
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8:13 a.m., March 16, 2011----A group of University of Delaware faculty, administrators and students packed their prototypes, their posters, their interactive displays and their UDairy ice cream and brought them all on a quick trip down Interstate 95.

The people and their displays became a showcase of UD's federally funded research projects on Capitol Hill at UD Day in Washington, D.C., on March 8. Invited guests included alumni, staffers representing several congressional offices and federal program officials representing the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, as well as Delaware's congressional delegation. Delaware's U.S. senators, Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and congressman, John Carney, all commented on UD's research prowess.

“Our University does terrific work these days,” Carper said.

Scattered around the Kennedy Caucus room in the Russell Senate Office Building were 25 displays. They represented the broad range of research conducted at UD with emphasis on four core areas: defense, health, energy and the environment. In addition, partnerships, outreach and commercialization efforts were featured to show the broad impact of UD research.

“The University of Delaware really is a world-class research university,” Coons said. “I am a big believer in the power of innovation and invention to solve the problems that face not just America but the entire world.”

With federal lawmakers working to cut spending in the nation's budget, research could suffer funding reductions. UD sought to display the value of federal funding in projects happening across campus. Last year, UD conducted $120 million of sponsored research, more than $90 million of which was funded by federal agencies.

Carney said he sees the value in funding research.

“You can't cut the things that are going to provide the economic opportunities of the future and that's the sciences and technology,” he said.

UD President Patrick Harker echoed that sentiment. “Research yields new discoveries that generate significant societal benefit, including robust economic development,” Harker said.

Delaware's congressional delegation along with others in the room pledged to be a partner with the University and fight for the programs that will create the innovations of the future.