Mines receives $9M National Science Foundation grant

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Mines receives $9M National Science Foundation grant

GOLDEN, Colo., Sept. 23, 2007 – Gov. Bill Ritter recently joined officials and researchers from Colorado School of Mines and the University of Colorado to announce $16.5 million in six-year National Science Foundation research grants through NSF's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center program.

Mines will receive $9.3 million to establish a new center which will focus on investigating emerging renewable energy materials and technologies. The Mines center will be led by Dr. Craig Taylor and will collaborate with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It will be the first NSF-funded center dedicated solely to renewable energy.

CU-Boulder will receive $7.2 million to continue and expand work at its existing Liquid Crystals Research Center. This will be the third round of NSF funding for the Center. Founded in 1995, the Center has spun off six different companies, and its research is contributing to a number of different fields, including better liquid crystals for solar panels and the origins of DNA. CU's Liquid Crystal Research Center is headed by Dr. Noel Clark.

“These grants will help us address the enormous energy challenges that face our state, our country and our planet,” Gov. Ritter said. “There are only 26 centers around the country. So for Colorado to receive two multimillion grants is an incredible achievement. It recognizes the cutting-edge science and advanced-technology research being done here.

“These grants also demonstrate the vital link between higher education, the New Energy Economy and the importance of preparing our students to enter a 21st century workforce that is becoming more and more competitive and more and more focused on knowledge-based industries of tomorrow, such as energy.”

“I have full confidence that these two centers will advance our understanding of basic materials science, address the energy challenges that face our nation and the world, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers on how to solve the complex problems of the future,” said Dr. Arden Bement, director of the National Science Foundation.

The Colorado Higher Education Competitive Research Authority played a key role in providing state matching funds for each grant. This research authority was created by Senate Bill 07-182, sponsored by Sen. Bob Bacon and Rep. Jack Pommer, to provide the state's research institutions with matching funds so they can compete effectively for major federal grants that require such state support.

Bacon and Pommer joined Gov. Ritter at today's news conference along with CU President Bruce Benson and School of Mines President Bill Scoggins.

Founded in 1874, Colorado School of Mines was established to serve the needs of the local mining industry. Today, the School has an international reputation for excellence in both engineering education and the applied sciences with special expertise in the development and stewardship of the Earth's resources.


Contact: Karen Gilbert, 303-273-3541

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