America’s economic competitiveness is tied directly to the pace of scientific and technological discovery, which requires sustained, long-term support, as well as agility.
To help the United States stay at the forefront of research and innovation — and maintain its leadership in the global economy — the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering has launched the Engineering Research Visioning Alliance, the first organization of its kind.
ERVA was created to provide the engineering community with a process for identifying bold and societally impactful engineering research directions that will place the U.S. in a leading position to realize a better future for all. It is an engaged, inclusive, multilayered partnership, providing a diverse array of voices to impact national research priorities.
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, as a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, is a member and founding partner of ERVA.
“The College of Engineering is honored to be a founding partner in this national effort to maintain the country’s engineering and technological superiority,” said Lance C. Pérez, dean of engineering. “Our participation in ERVA is aligned with our strategic goals and will accelerate our efforts to conduct research that positively impacts the lives of Nebraskans and leads to economic development in the state and the region.”
Funded with a five-year, $8 million award from the NSF, the initiative convenes, catalyzes and enables the engineering community to identify nascent opportunities and priorities for engineering-led innovative, high-impact, cross-domain, fundamental research that addresses national, global and societal needs.
“As an engineer, I am thrilled that Nebraska is a founding partner in this effort,” said Bob Wilhelm, vice chancellor for research and economic development. “Through the university’s partnership with the Big Ten Academic Alliance, Nebraska engineers have an exciting opportunity to help shape the future of engineering. These efforts will inform our research, help us prepare students for careers in this rapidly evolving discipline and potentially open new funding opportunities.”
ERVA’s structure is designed to coalesce the engineering stakeholder community to identify and develop bold new fundamental research directions. Its founding partners are members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research/Institutional Development Award Foundation and the University Industry Demonstration Partnership.
“ERVA is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of something truly transformative,” said Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, ERVA’s principal investigator and senior associate vice president for research-corporate and government partnerships at Ohio State University, a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance.
Dawn Tilbury, NSF assistant director for engineering, said: “Engineering has the power to transform people’s lives, especially when it brings to bear a diversity of knowledge, perspectives and experience to solve important problems. With NSF’s support, the Engineering Research Visioning Alliance will enable the engineering community to mobilize and make a difference in our country’s future.”