Easton’s State Senator Tony Hwang visited the UConn Health Cell & Genomic Center earlier this month to receive an update from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. Hwang is the co-chair of the legislative Bioscience Caucus and ranking leader on the legislative Public Health Committee, and a former member of the Governor’s Workforce Council.

The NSF is divided into seven directorates that support science and engineering research and education: Biological Sciences, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, and Education and Human Resources. In addition, the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships supports use-inspired and translational research. Each is headed by an assistant director and each is further subdivided into divisions including materials research, ocean sciences and behavioral and cognitive sciences.

Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the National Science Foundation, and Radenka Maric, UConn’s interim president, enthusiastically shared their mutual passion and lifelong commitment to science and technological entrepreneurialism and United States excellence in the global marketplace. They shared stories of the dynamic global competition for talent and innovation. Both also cautioned that if we do not support our academic research center of learning such as UConn, we will be left behind on the development of intellectual talent and entrepreneurial economic innovations.

NSF’s Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, or TIP Directorate, will advance research and education across all fields of science and engineering. TIP is a critical first step that will accelerate the development of new technologies and products that improve Americans’ way of life, grow the economy and create new jobs, and strengthen and sustain U.S. competitiveness into the future.

NSF Director Panchanathan shared that, “NSF’s TIP Directorate will accelerate discovery and innovation to rapidly bring new technologies to market and address the most pressing societal and economic challenges of our time. By pursuing new approaches that engage the nation’s broad and diverse population in shaping research directions and outcomes, TIP will be a game-changer in terms of the pace of technological breakthroughs, future job growth and national competitiveness. We at NSF are grateful for the continued strong support from the Administration and Congress that has made this possibility a reality. We look forward to the passage of the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which will be the next critical step in ensuring TIP can generate a transformational evolution in translating America’s research to expand our economic leadership in the technologies of the future.”

“I welcome any day where we can pause to talk about breakthroughs in medicine, science and technology and about how these business sectors are working for a brighter and healthier future here in Connecticut,” said Hwang. “As our flagship university, UConn continues to be on the cutting edge of bioscience and artificial intelligence and cybersecurity technology. Thank you to NSF Director Panchannathan for acknowledging the remarkable scientific contributions of UConn researchers, scientists, trustees and students. NSF promotes the progress of science that advances national health, prosperity and economic vitality.

“I also want to note and applaud the business leaders who participated today in promoting the essential partnership with Connecticut in economic sustainability and development. Ultimately, it is about an unwavering commitment to science, technology and innovation/entrepreneurship to building businesses and adding jobs. I am honored to be an integral part of that support network working toward a better Connecticut. There is so much to be proud of here in Connecticut, and we are only getting started,” Hwang said.

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