$123 Million to Support New Scientific Research Facilities

Published on January 8, 2010 at 5:31 PM

The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today awarded more than $123 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to support the construction of new scientific research facilities at 11 universities and one non-profit research organization.

With ultimate research targets ranging from off-shore wind power and coral reef ecology to quantum physics and nanotechnology, the 12 projects will launch more than $250 million in new laboratory construction projects beginning early this year.

“These awards will create jobs by helping to fund 12 major, shovel-ready construction projects,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “These new, state-of-the-art facilities will help keep the United States at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation and will support economic growth.”

The 12 construction project awards, the result of a competition announced by NIST last May, include:

  • $15 million to the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pa.) for new laboratories for nanoscience and experimental physics,
  • $15 million to Nova Southeastern University Inc. (Fort Lauderdale-Davis, Fla.) for a Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystem Science research facility,
  • $12.4 million to the University of Maine (Orono, Me.) for an Advanced Nanocomposites in Renewable Energy Laboratory,
  • $12.3 million to the University of Kansas Center for Research (Lawrence, Kan.) for the new Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center (M2SEC),
  • $11.8 million to the University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.) for an expansion of the Center for Applied Energy Research Laboratory,
  • $11.8 million to Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.) for a Center for High Performance Buildings at the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories,
  • $11.6 million to the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (Atlanta, Ga.) for a pilot-scale laboratory for carbon-neutral energy solutions,
  • $10.3 million to the University of Maryland (College Park, Md.) for a laboratory for advanced quantum science in the school’s new Physical Sciences Complex,
  • $8.1 million to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Barnstable, Mass.) for the Laboratory for Ocean Sensors and Observing Systems (LOSOS),
  • $6.9 million to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Lincoln, Neb.) for a nanoscience metrology facility,
  • $6.9 million to Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) for The Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and Metrology, and
  • $1.4 million to Columbia University (New York, N.Y.) for an ultraclean geochemistry laboratory at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

In addition to satisfying the core objectives of the Recovery Act—creating and saving jobs and investment in infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits—the projects were chosen on the basis of the scientific and technical merit of the proposals, the need for federal funding, design quality and suitability for the intended purpose, and the strength of the project-management plan.

The new facilities also support research goals of the Commerce Department, NIST and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), including the study of advanced materials, coral reefs, hurricanes, quantum physics, nanoscience and metrology.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

Information on other NIST activities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is available on the Web at www.nist.gov/recovery.

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