This week with NSF Director Panchanathan
From testifying in front of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology to speaking about how partnerships and collaboration advance American innovation — this week, NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan reinforced the significance of NSF's ongoing commitment to promote the progress of science, to advance the national prosperity, and to secure the national defense.
The week began with a visit to University of Missouri-Columbia, where he delivered the inaugural "President's Distinguished Lecture," the first in a series that invites leaders of renowned research institutions, university educators and industry experts to share their insights and engage in discussions about the challenges of today and opportunities of tomorrow. Afterward, he had the opportunity to meet with CAREER and Graduate Research Fellowship Program awardees, NSF-funded investigators and research students. The visit concluded with a tour of the university's Research Reactor — instrumental in the creation of more than 30 radioactive isotopes — where students, researchers and engineers engage in meaningful experiential learning experiences and unite in the pursuit of discovery and innovation.
On Wednesday, Director Panchanathan testified on behalf of NSF at the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Fiscal Year 2024 budget hearing. The director underpinned the importance of fully appropriating funds for FY 24 to ensure the agency can continue to make strategic investments that result in the growth and prosperity of our nation's STEM enterprise and people, while keeping the U.S. at the vanguard of competitiveness in a rapidly changing technological frontier.
Likewise, NSF's Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships convened industry leaders across diverse sectors to discuss directions and effective mechanisms for partnerships. Questions posed included what topics and areas are ripe for engagement and should be prioritized in such an engagement and what are efficient models for engagement.
Director Panchanathan delivered closing remarks urging industry to cultivate partnerships that will harness the nation's vast and diverse talent pool to advance key technologies, tackle pressing societal and economic challenges, and nurture the next-generation workforce.
The week rounded out with a trip to the University of Rhode Island, where President Marc B. Parlange welcomed the director and Sen. Jack Reed to learn about the transformative approaches to STEM education training and tour URI's lab facilities and the Narragansett Bay Campus's newly constructed pier which will house the new research vessel Narragansett Dawn starting next year. He also met with NSF-supported researchers, students and faculty, with whom he emphasized the importance of working together to create change at speed and scale and fuel exciting discoveries and innovations for decades to come.