Office of the President

February 27, 2014

Campaign encourages stronger federal investments in research and higher education

Michael K. Young

The key difference-maker for societies, economies, and universities in the 21st-century, I am certain, is innovation.

Can we think in creative, productive, uncommon ways about how to solve problems and to bridge the divides—international, cultural, economic—that separate us?

At the University of Washington, we know that the ability to innovate is essential.

With this in mind, we embrace a spirit of experimentation in our UW research and teaching. We try new things, we sometimes fail on the road to success, we shoot for the moon. It is in these moments that we create new possibilities we would otherwise never imagine.

Much of our shooting for the moon relies on the investment the federal government has made over time in research at our nation’s universities.

To that end, President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal is due next week, and Congress will then start the long process of authorizing and appropriating funds.

Today, a coalition of 14 important national business, higher education, and scientific organizations launched a campaign to urge Congress to “Close the Innovation Deficit” with strong federal investments in research and higher education.

The centerpiece of this campaign is a four-minute video that explains the direct link between basic research, economic growth, improved medical treatments, and national security; the risk that recent cuts to research pose to the United States’ role as the global innovation leader at a time when other nations are rapidly increasing their research investments; and the significant benefits that renewed investments in research would bring the country.