NSF News

NSF Director delivers remarks at Northeastern University's grand opening celebration alongside Members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation

On Oct. 16, U.S. National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan delivered a keynote at the grand opening of Northeastern University's EXP, a state-of-the-art, 357,000-square-foot, energy-efficient research facility outfitted with labs, classrooms and a makerspace at Northeastern’ s Boston, Massachusetts, campus. Constructed to further the horizons of science, engineering and teaching, the facility will promote experiential learning and collaboration between researchers, students and partners across a wide range of disciplines.

Attendees at the event included elected officials — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu; Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey; U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Jim McGovern (D-MA); and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — Biogen CEO Christopher Viehbacher; leaders, faculty, staff and students from Northeastern and surrounding universities and community colleges; industry stakeholders; and members of the media.

“Critical to NSF’s mission and goals is diversifying the U.S. STEM workforce enterprise and recruiting and retaining new talent, including the 'missing millions.' Northeastern is well equipped to promote STEM opportunities that help engage those individuals, with the new EXP research facility serving as a catalyst for that aim,” said Panchanathan. “Without inclusion, you will not get the greatest ideas, or innovations, or impacts, because inclusion is central to everything -- when you bring the inclusive mindset, you solve problems like climate change, like pandemics … you solve all of these problems in their fullest form, and that’s what we need at this point in time, and this building represents that in full measure.”

Underscoring the importance of infrastructure in accelerating progress, he left the audience with a final idea and mnemonic device: The “I” in infrastructure, he said, is going to make possible the “I” in inspiration, ideas and innovation, unleashed at full scale across our nation, to spark the final “I” in impact.