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Advanced Technology Initiative Links:

A Brief Overview

A Letter from the Provost

Funded Proposals

How to Submit a Proposal

The Advanced Technology Initiative Has Been Endorsed by:

American Electronics Association

Columbia River Economic Development Council

Linear Technologies

Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association

PathoGenesis Corp.

AquaSeed Corp.

SEH America

Siemens Solar


Spokane Valley High Technology Council

Washington Software Association

Atairgin Biotechnologies

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The Advanced Technology Initiative

A Letter from the Provost to Deans, Directors, and Chairs

February 9, 2000

Dear Colleagues:

For the past three years, we have worked to gain legislative support for a new initiative to create faculty clusters in areas of research that have unusual potential for economic impact in our region. This effort, the Advanced Technology Initiative (ATI), has allowed us to present the State's two research universities in a new light. Some legislators have been surprised by the range of contributions the UW makes to the state and region, economically and in other ways. They have been intrigued by the research programs pursued at the UW, and several legislators became advocates on behalf of the ATI. The interest generated led to success in last year's legislative session. In a joint effort, the UW and WSU sought funding for three faculty clusters each; the Legislature approved 2.5 clusters for the UW and 1.5 for WSU. The UW received $2.5M biennial funding for the following clusters:

  • Animation and Computer Graphics in the College of Engineering
  • Infectious Diseases in the School of Medicine
  • Precision Forestry in the College of Forest Resources (one-half cluster)

We were gratified by this outcome, and we plan to seek additional support in the next budget cycle. I am writing now to ask your help in identifying further target areas for faculty clusters and in encouraging your faculty to develop proposals. Please note that most of the funded clusters are likely to be in science and technology areas, such as biomedical devices, telecommunications, biomaterials, information technologies, environmental technologies, multimedia, etc. However, some proposals could be dedicated to policy- or business-oriented clusters, with subject areas such as the creation and growth of new businesses or analysis and expertise encompassing an important industry sector. In all instances, the case has to be very compelling. Moreover, proposals should align with unit strategic priorities, and they must be endorsed by the deans. Note that schools/colleges will be expected to handle space needs.

Criteria for success in the internal selection process include:

  • Potential for substantial intellectual and educational impact (emerging areas of opportunity) consistent with our mission.
  • Mid- to long-term commercial potential, especially for private sector action and/or collaboration in our region.
  • An interdisciplinary focus that crosses school/college boundaries.
  • The need for other than normal institutional resources.

The ATI provides a unique opportunity to showcase the role UW research plays in enhancing the economy and quality of life in the state. Its potential benefits include:

  • The opportunity to launch a new kind of multidisciplinary program designed from the outset to stimulate economic activity through fundamental research and education.
  • A new level of interaction between our industrial partners and the UW.
  • A more collaborative relationship with the Legislature as we work to achieve mutually desired outcomes.
  • Exciting new opportunities to develop our curriculum in ways that better prepare students for emergent jobs and needs in the workplace.
  • New centers of excellence in research and teaching that will enhance our competitiveness for research funding at the national level.
  • Attracting high-quality graduate students.
  • Expanding the range of research and international opportunities for our undergraduates.
  • Adding new faculty colleagues in fields not adequately represented on campus.

Proposals for the new clusters will be reviewed by the Provost's Review Committee and should be submitted to Alvin L. Kwiram, Vice Provost for Research, Box 351237. The schedule for review will be:

  • 3/31/00 Preliminary proposals due
  • 4/14/00 Review and initial selection of proposals by committee
  • 5/15/00 Full proposals due from selected faculty. Oral presentations to the review committee will be scheduled at the time of notification.

Final selection will occur during late summer for inclusion in our 01-03 budget request for the Legislature. I am very encouraged by our success in this new initiative and appreciate your assistance in developing it further.


Lee L. Huntsman