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Posted: January 30, 2008
Governor Rell announces funding for nanotechnology partnerships with Yale, UConn
(Nanowerk News) Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that her revised budget will include $5 million to support industry-university partnerships in nanotechnology research at Yale University and the University of Connecticut.
“Investing in nanotechnology will transform the size, cost and efficiency of manufacturing in Connecticut,” Governor Rell said. “Encouraging the study of nanotechnology will create jobs by sparking innovation, breakthroughs and new business startups. Nanotechnology represents the future – the future of everything from environmental protection to aerospace.”
The funds will establish Centers of Nanoscience in Connecticut’s two leading research universities, Yale and UConn. These Centers will both be accessible by industry, faculty and students outside each institution. The Yale Center will be oriented towards the application of nanotechnology to bioscience while the UConn Center will be focused on material science.
“We want to provide Connecticut researchers and nanotech companies with access to state-of-the-art equipment and talent that would be too expensive for them to afford on their own,” Governor Rell said. “This can keep Connecticut on the cutting edge of research, and that research can lead to job growth five, 10, and 20 years down the road.”
Each institution will make an investment in their respective center of $2.5 million with the state matching this investment through bonding dollars. The $5 million in state bond funds will be used towards the purchase of specialized equipment critical to moving the science of nanotechnology forward.
Yale, UConn and the State of Connecticut will seek to leverage additional funding from the federal government, using the cumulative investment of $10 million ($5 million from the institutions and $5 million from the state) as seed funding.
The Governor said that additional funding in the budget will also address state work force shortage needs in teaching, nursing and engineering.
“One of my goals as Governor has been to increase access to early childhood education,” Governor Rell said. “With thousands of new pre-K slots being created, we need teachers for those children.”
To create an educational path for those who want an early childhood education credential, Governor Rell said that $500,000 has been included in her budget in each of the next two years to provide a mostly on-line Alternative Route to Certification. In its initial rollout this Spring, 20 new students will be in the program, with potential employment as early as this Fall.
Governor Rell said she would take the following steps to address the nursing shortage in Connecticut:
Include $200,000 in additional funding to beef up the nursing education program at the University of Connecticut, which should result in dozens of extra nurses emerging from the Waterbury campus.
Include an additional $295,000 for the Connecticut State University to increase the number of nursing graduates in the state by the end of next year by 13 full-time and 9 part-time students. This increase includes three faculty positions at a cost of $195,000.
At the state’s Community-Technical Colleges, additional funding will expand support staff and equipment leading to an additional 64 nursing students by 2010.
To address the over 750 annual engineering openings in the state, Governor Rell’s budget recommends $300,000 to continue funding of a program that enables engineers working full-time in the state to receive up to $5,000 to help pay off student loans.
“If you have your engineering degree from any college in the United States and have been hired as a full-time engineer in Connecticut after 2005, the state of Connecticut can now help you significantly,” Governor Rell said. “We think this will provide an incentive for students to choose engineering and then to stay in the state to work.
“Each of these initiatives focuses on retaining and growing jobs in Connecticut. We are targeting our strengths and addressing our weaknesses.