Nov. 20, 2013

Virginia Researchers Join Forces

Sen. Mark Warner (D.-Va.) hosted the Virginia Summit on Science, Engineering, and Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences last week to initiate a new effort to elevate the state's research enterprise.  The daylong summit also served as the launch event for the newly formed Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, which is made up of the state's 122 members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. Photos

The senator told attendees, which included several university and business leaders, that he expects the new academy to foster collaboration among researchers in different fields and spur innovation that leads to new business opportunities in Virginia.  He also said that he hopes it helps the state to recruit top scientists, engineers, and medicine and health professionals, groom a new generation of such experts, and increase the number of its residents who are elected to one of the national academies.  Attracting more research funding to the state also is a goal.

Speaking at the opening of the summit, NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone noted that the formation of the Virginia academy is part of a recent trend of state academies being established, including in Texas and Washington, to bring together local members of the NAS, NAE, and IOM to focus on ways to accelerate research and innovation at the state level.  He said that the Virginia academy, with Sen. Warner's leadership, could help ensure that the state is a magnet for advanced research and cutting-edge businesses of the future.