New 'ScienceWorksForUS' Initiative Highlights Stimulus-Funded Research

November 19, 2009 — Representatives of universities and members of Congress announced the launch earlier this week of ScienceWorksForUS, an initiative that will highlight the scientific research and related activities made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The centerpiece of the initiative is a Web site that highlights Recovery Act-sponsored research in all 50 states, telling the stories of the research and the researchers contributing to America's recovery. University of Virginia news is included on the site, which went live Tuesday.

"'ScienceWorksForUS' is highlighting the way Recovery Act funds have made their way into academic laboratories and reflects what's possible when smart investments in the public sector are placed in the hands of our scientists, innovators, and academies of higher learning," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Through our ongoing support for researchers across the country, we will ensure that the Recovery Act was not the end of our investment in innovation, but the beginning of a sustained commitment to science."

The stimulus contained $21.5 billion for scientific research, the purchase of capital equipment and science-related construction projects. This money, less than 3 percent of the $787 billion stimulus measure, represented a historic infusion of funding for research and an affirmation of the essential role scientific inquiry and discovery play in both short-term recovery and long-term economic growth.

U.Va. researchers thus far have won $56.9 million of this funding for 133 awards.

"Universities are the innovation engines of the nation, and U.Va. is emerging as a leading national hub for innovation," said Thomas C. Skalak, U.Va. vice president for research. "With the high level of stimulus funding awarded to U.Va. faculty teams, the University will create real impact on the growth of a new creative economy that will keep our nation competitive globally and create new jobs for future generations of Americans."

The purpose of ScienceWorksForUS is to ensure that the public is aware of the work made possible by funding for scientific research through ARRA. This work holds broad implications for local communities and society at large.

ScienceWorksForUS is an initiative of the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and The Science Coalition. These organizations collectively represent more than 200 of the nation's leading academic research institutions.

— By Fariss Samarrai