Wright State University has surpassed $100 million in annual research and sponsored programs funding, an increase driven by industry-backed projects that highlights the school’s status “as a national player” in science.
The university reached $100.2 million in fiscal year 2012, up $14.1 million over the previous year, WSU announced. Founded in 1967, Wright State reached $50 million in research funding and sponsored programs in 2003.
“Hitting that $100 million is a milestone. We got there faster than we thought, which we’re excited about,” said Wright State President David Hopkins.
Faculty were credited for competing nationally to win funding by Robert Fyffe, vice president of research and graduate studies.
While WSU could not immediately provide a breakdown for this year’s $100 million, the amount includes $900,000 to study the effects of nerve injuries, Fyffe said. The study is underway at the Boonshoft School of Medicine under co-directors Timothy Cope and Dr. Kenneth Gaines and is funded by the National Institute of Health. Fyffe said the project could have clinical implications.
Another project involves $300,000 funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory and industry to develop micro air vehicles and advanced laser manufacturing, Fyffe said. The project is oversee by George Huang, chair of WSU’s Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and director of the new Center of Excellence for Micro Air Vehicle Research.
“All of that funding is very competitive,” Fyffe said, adding Wright State faculty “have clearly developed exceptional reputations able to secure that kind of funding from different sources.”
As less money has been available for basic research from the National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation, Wright State has seen an increase in its programs funded by industry, Hopkins said. The Wright State Research Institute doubled its funding to $20 million for fiscal year 2012.
“The growth we’ve seen has been on this side called applied research, which has the potential of the intelligence property that we’re developing in solving real problems for local industry to grow their business and grow new businesses,” Hopkins said.
“It’s more important than ever to the economy how we grow research with local industry, business and the Air Force,” he said.
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