By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
University of Wyoming President Ed Seidel touted the university’s efforts to drive energy innovation and economic development during a U.S. Senate committee hearing on Thursday in Washington, D.C.
Seidel spoke to and answered questions from the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. U.S. Sen. John Barrasso is the committee’s ranking member.
“Universities across the nation are ready to become even stronger engines for science and innovation,” Seidel said during his testimony. “However, deeper partnerships with academia and industry are still needed.”
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, with an annual budget of over $7 billion, is the nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences, and the lead federal agency supporting research for energy production and security.
Seidel also addressed the energy research occurring at the UW’s School of Energy Resources as well as plans for a new School of Computing, a Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Wyoming Innovation Partnership, in collaboration with Wyoming’s community colleges.
These efforts, focused on driving innovation and economic development, reflect the commitment and contributions that rural states such as Wyoming can make to the nation, he said.
“Great talent resides everywhere,” Seidel said, advocating that “rural areas must be embraced” in research funding opportunities because of their unique strengths.
Seidel encouraged development of a comprehensive funding plan that links science, education and innovation for growing the economy of the U.S. and competing internationally with countries that are investing more.