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UW President Highlights Research, Innovation Efforts Before Senate Committee

August 5, 2021

Members of a U.S. Senate committee heard about the University of Wyoming’s efforts to drive energy innovation and economic development from UW President Ed Seidel during a hearing today (Thursday) in Washington, D.C.

Seidel spoke to and answered questions from the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, along with Thomas Zacharia, director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and J. Stephen Binkley, acting director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Seidel’s opening statement can be viewed here. To see the full committee hearing, go here.

Seidel was invited to testify by the committee’s chairman, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., at a hearing examining the role of and programs within the Office of Science. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is the committee’s ranking member.

During his testimony, Seidel noted UW’s energy research in the School of Energy Resources as well as plans for a new School of Computing, a Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Wyoming Innovation Partnership, in collaboration with Wyoming’s community colleges. He also mentioned the National Center for Atmospheric Research-Wyoming Supercomputing Center near Cheyenne.

These efforts focused on driving innovation and economic development reflect the commitment and contributions that rural states such as Wyoming can make to the nation, he said.

“Great talent resides everywhere,” he said, advocating that “rural areas must be embraced” in research funding opportunities because of their unique strengths.

Seidel encouraged development of a comprehensive funding plan that links science, education and innovation for growing the economy of the U.S. and competing internationally with countries that are investing more.

The DOE’s Office of Science, with an annual budget of over $7 billion, is the nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences, and the lead federal agency supporting research for energy production and security. Among many other things, it oversees 10 of the agency’s 17 national laboratories.

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