- Legislative Issues
- Reports & Resources
- TSC News & Events
- University Science Today
- University Research:
Celebrating America's Competitive Edge
Remarks Prepared for Delivery by Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.: President, Stony Brook University
Remarks Prepared for Delivery by
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.
President, Stony Brook University
March 31, 2011
I want to thank all of the Senators and their staff members for joining us today, and the Science Coalition for helping to organize this roundtable. In two minutes I want to say two things. First, Universities, and the basic research they do, are now the principle drivers of innovation in this country. Google, Genentech, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, and many other highly successful companies came from ideas from Federally sponsored research performed at Universities. That’s the direct impact. But Universities do far more. Universities attract talent, the best and the brightest from around the world come to work and learn. So not only do they create companies, their faculty and students can also play a critical role in staffing or advising new and existing companies, providing key technical expertise that can help them grow. This creates innovation ecosystems that drive regional economies—Silicon Valley, San Diego, the Research Triangle, Route 128—these are the classics, but Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and I will say Long Island, are developing their own innovation corridors.
At Stony Brook University, we are working with regional partners like Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to create Long Island’s innovation ecosystem. Our efforts include our new Center for Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology which brings together SBU and Brookhaven faculty members, small start up companies, and existing large companies, like CA (Computer Associates) together to create the kind of productive collisions that generate new lines for scientific inquiries and new products. We have dedicated incubator space, small business development help on site, pathways for venture capital, and access to transitional space to help our faculty and their collaborators move their discoveries forward on Long Island and in New York State. But all of this is fueled by basic research, and it was NIH support that enabled Paul Lauterbur of Stony Brook to do the research that led to the invention of the MRI machine. It was also NIH funding that supported Barry Koller’s research that led to ReoPro, the first anti-clotting drug used to treat coronary artery blockage. So the stakes are high, and I want to close by emphasizing that we cannot let the current efforts at budget reduction derail what has been arguably the most successful investing partnership in the world--NIH, NSF, DOE, DARPA investing in our research universities for innovation that has created jobs, improved our nation’s and the world’s health, and helped develop the technical advances (like the internet) that have fundamentally changed the human condition.