July 28, 2008
In case you missed this yesterday, the Seattle Times ran a very complimentary editorial about the new Innovation Research Teams (IRT) program (also referred to as the “Star Researchers” program) which was created in the 2007-09 biennial budget act.
As you may recall, the program ran into some trouble this past session when the House Appropriations Committee proposed cutting funding for the new effort which provides resources to recruit scientists to Washington’s research universities who have the potential of transferring their knowledge into the private sector. Funding was ultimately restored (and even enhanced slightly) and both the UW’s Michael Hochberg and WSU-Tri Cities Birgitte Ahring are working hard to make their mark in Washington State.
The future of the IRT program in the next biennium has yet to be written but both schools would like to see funding increase so that additional “star” research talent can be brought to the state to help fuel economic growth.