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NSF EPSCoR 21st National Conference 2009

Sustainability, Innovation, and EPSCoR

EPSCoR National Conference Book
Conference Participation List

Monday, October 19, 2009
8:30am - 8:45am Welcome, Henry Blount, Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), NSF
8:45am - 12:00pm

Panel 1 - A Sustainable Planet
Sustainability can be viewed through many lenses. In terms of energy or water, it is key to the nation?s long-term economic growth, its security, and the quality of life of its citizens. Sustainability is also a core value of NSF EPSCoR as we move to make sustainable improvements in our research capacity. The challenges of sustainability are complex; science and engineering must provide the basis for progress in this arena. Equally important are the attendant human and social dimensions.

Moderator: Timothy Killeen, Directorate for Geosciences, NSF

Michael Eckardt, Maine EPSCoR

Judith Sunley, Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, NSF


  • What are appropriate strategies for meeting the challenges of sustainable development ? sector roles, responsibilities, and opportunities: public, private, academic, government?
  • What frameworks are promising for understanding social-ecological and other coupled systems?
  • What are the impacts of rapid scientific and technological changes on human and social behavior?


12:00pm - 1:30pm Working Lunch
1:30pm - 5:00pm

Panel 2 ? It Takes a State
Discovery alone in science and engineering is not enough. Facilitating the movement of new knowledge from the "Eureka!" moment in the laboratory to the marketplace or the policy table is critical to realizing the potential economic and societal benefit of that discovery. Roadmaps for these progressions ? strategic plans ? are essential as are structures that support the processes of innovation at multiple junctures along the way. Partnerships among public, private, academic, and governmental entities help to ensure state-wide individual, institutional, and sector participation in human, physical and cyber infrastructure development.

Moderator: Tom Peterson, Directorate for Engineering , NSF

Mary Good, University of Arkansas, Little Rock

Paul Risser, University of Oklahoma Research Cabinet

Paul Hill, West Virginia EPSCoR

Philip Boudjouk, North Dakota EPSCoR


  • What strategies work well for developing and maintaining effective state science and technology plans? State S&T business plans?
  • What are the roles of EPSCoR State Committees in fostering and supporting cooperation among sectors, particularly public/private ones?
  • What are effective structures for nurturing ideas and for supporting small technology business development?
  • What characteristics favor effective business partnership outreach (e.g., "Help Desk", "Geek Squad", "County Agent" model)?
  • What leadership strategies are effective for unifying the jurisdiction?s physical, human, and cyber infrastructure development efforts?
  • What are the most common barriers to innovation and how do we address them?


5:00pm - 7:00pm Networking and Poster Reception
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
8:30am - 8:45am Conference Update, Henry Blount, NSF EPSCoR
8:45am - 11:00pm

Panel 3 ? S&E without Borders
Science and engineering are in transition. The challenges that we face in sustainability, in innovation ? in virtually every domain of endeavor ? require increasingly cooperative and transdisciplinary approaches if substantive progress is to be made.

Progress is and will be determined by the skills of the nation?s scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians who are working to address these challenges. Our workforce must be broader in its thinking without loss of disciplinary depth. It must be well prepared, diverse, internationally competent, and globally engaged. It must be creative and productive in borderless, transdisciplinary, collaborative environments. The preparation of this workforce will require greater STEM competency at all educational levels and greater participation by all genres of institutions.

More effective strategies for recognizing and supporting transdisciplinary, transformative research and education are essential elements along the critical path to success. Opportunities and challenges at the local, state, national, and international levels must be considered, and by funders of research as well.

Moderator: James Collins, Directorate for Biological Sciences, NSF

Stephen G. Borleske, Delaware EPSCoR

Manuel Gómez, Puerto Rico EPSCoR


  • What strategies hold promise for broader engagement by the EPSCoR community in transdisciplinary, transnational, transformative research challenges, particularly those related to sustainability and innovation?
  • How do we prepare the next generation of STEM scientists, engineers, and educators to successfully function in a borderless environment?
  • What is needed to change how we work together in a borderless environment?


11:00am - 12:00pm

Panel 4 ? EPSCoR Writ Large
Congressional interest in the NSF EPSCoR experiment led to extension of the initiative to six additional agencies (NIH, DOD, DOE, NASA, USDA, and EPA) in FY 1989 ? FY 1992. While the science and engineering foci of these EPSCoR and EPSCoR-like programs reflect the responsibilities of the respective agencies, goals such as STEM workforce development, diversity, external engagement, infrastructure, and research capacity that contribute to the nation?s global competitiveness are shared by all. Opportunities for collaborative synergies, particularly in the thematic areas of sustainability and innovation, might be productively explored.

Moderator: Gayle Dana, Nevada EPSCoR

EPSCoR Interagency Coordinating Committee Panel

  • Nancy Cavallaro, US Dept. of Agriculture
  • Diane DeTroye, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • W. Fred Taylor, National Institutes of Health
  • Denise Barnes, National Science Foundation


  • What roles are anticipated for EPSCoR and EPSCoR-like programs in the areas of sustainability and innovation?
  • What opportunities for synergistic interaction are seen among the programs of these agencies?
  • Are there areas of science and engineering that might hold particular promise for progress through a multi-agency effort?
  • Is synergy among EPSCoR investments more appropriately captured at the jurisdictional level or the agency level?
  • What programmatic structures might facilitate such interactions?


12:00pm - 1:30pm

Lunch Keynote ? If a Tree Falls . . .
W. Lance Haworth
, Office of Integrative Activities, NSF

1:30pm - 3:30pm

Panel 5 ? Science First
The science and engineering research programs put forth in NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement proposals are the primary basis for RII awards. The intellectual merit and broader impacts of these research activities provide the rationale for the attendant infrastructure investments which, in turn, enhance the overall research capacity of the jurisdiction. These awards are unique in their state-wide scope and complexity; in their integration of individual researchers, institutions, and organizations; in their integration of research, education, and innovation; and in their role in developing the diverse, well-prepared, STEM-enabled workforce necessary to sustain research competitiveness and catalyze economic development. The science and engineering research supported through RII awards is fundamental, applied, and translational; it is an intellectual driver for innovation and sustainability.

Moderator: Steven Borleske, Delaware EPSCoR

Sally Mackenzie, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Roger Markwald, Medical University of South Carolina

Kristin Bowman-James, Kansas EPSCoR


  • What strategies are most likely to increase awareness of the breadth and depth of cutting edge science and science-based education conducted within EPSCoR jurisdictions that will accelerate access to and full usage by the broader research and education communities?
  • How do NSF investments strengthen the science and science-based educational capacity within EPSCoR jurisdictions and advance knowledge in those fields for the betterment of the greater community?
  • What roles do discovery science and engineering have in enriching STEM education?
  • What strategies are most likely to maximize opportunities for greater integration of the research activities of EPSCoR scientists and engineers into all NSF disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research programs?


3:30pm - 5:30pm

Panel 6 ? Enabling Synergy
Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and Cyberinfrastructure (CI) are two extraordinarily powerful enablers of sustainability and innovation in the STEM arena. They are inextricably and synergistically linked. They provide the rational frameworks for understanding the principles and uses of advanced computer, communications, and information systems that facilitate transformational progress across a broad front of science and engineering. They contribute to workforce development and economic competitiveness. They are critical to converting data into knowledge, to understanding complexity through simulation and prediction, and to creating more systematic insights into the social and technical issues of the large scale, multidisciplinary collaborative communities that are essential to address complex problems and grand challenges in science and society.

Moderator: Jim Bottum, Clemson University

Deborah Crawford, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, NSF

Ed Seidel, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, NSF


  • What strategies are most effective for building fundamental research capacity in computing and information technology?
  • What strategies lead to the capture of outcomes from this research to inform development and deployment of cyberinfrastructure that will foster collaboration, prompt innovation, broaden individual and institutional participation, strengthen e-learning, create jobs, develop the workforce, contribute to the economic development of jurisdictions, and help to facilitate participation in the jurisdictions? computing-based intellectual future?
  • Broadband access is vital to advances in sustainability, in innovation, in workforce development ? in all aspects of our global competitiveness. Through legislative action and agency programs, there are a number of active opportunities for the support of broadband deployment. How do these opportunities intersect and what are appropriate strategies for optimizing these opportunities?


5:30pm - 7:30pm Poster Reception
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
8:30am - 8:45am Conference Update, Henry Blount, NSF EPSCoR
8:45am - 12:00pm

Panel 7 ? So What?
Pathways to sustainability and innovation require changes in how we conduct our science and engineering, how we collaborate and interact with each other, how discovery science and engineering drive knowledge-based policy and economic development, and how we prepare the next generation?s STEM-enabled workforce. How should we define the goals of such changes and the metrics of their pursuit? How do we evaluate progress? What do we measure and what does it mean? At the end of the day, how will we respond to the question, "So What?"

Moderator: Willie Pearson, Jr., Georgia Institute of Technology

Steve Nelson, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Terrance Russell, Association for Institutional Research, Emeritus

Judith Van Houten, Vermont EPSCoR

Carol Davis, North Dakota State University


  • How can evaluation and assessment effectively reinforce the "right" things and not the ?wrong? things so that the overall system continuously improves?
  • How does the engagement of diverse groups, institutions, and disciplines facilitate transformative improvement?
  • What enabling roles do partnerships ? with recognized disciplinary leaders, with governmental entities, with the private sector ? play in these transformations?
  • How can we maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses in building our capacity for success?


12:00pm - 1:30pm

Lunch Keynote ? From the Top
Arden L. Bement

1:30pm - 2:30pm

The Road Ahead
Henry Blount


3:00pm Conference Adjourned