Nov. 09, 2018
A student researcher works on a project in a University of Arkansas lab.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A $23.7 million investment from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation into the University of Arkansas’ research and economic development infrastructure will strengthen the university’s research engine, driving innovation across disciplines, leading to the commercialization of new technologies and ultimately enhancing economic activity in the state.
The gift was announced at the Campaign Arkansas volunteer steering committee meeting on Friday and takes the campaign’s fundraising total across the $1 billion threshold. The campaign’s goal is $1.25 billion. Campaign Arkansas runs through June 2020.
“We are grateful to the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation for this investment in our faculty’s research and innovation,” said Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz. “We have outstanding faculty doing work that impacts the world.
“As we aim to strengthen our research engine, this investment in highly productive research faculty, research infrastructure, and signature research areas will augment our output. For a large research university to effectively inspire commercialization, it must provide a culture of innovation, a broad spectrum of partnerships across the region and around the country, and targeted financial investments.”
The infrastructure needed to build and support the research engine includes strategic initiatives of both the Office of Research and Innovation and the Office of Economic Development. This includes supporting preparation of proposals for research funding, grant management, entrepreneurial mentoring, faculty and external partners, and gap funding to commercialize technologies and creative works.
The Office of Economic Development streamlines campus initiatives targeting economic growth and social impact. The Office of Research and Innovation supports and advances the university’s research enterprise.
“The major factors that most limit our growth are centered on building a critical mass of faculty in strategic research areas and enhancing the infrastructure necessary to maximize research productivity,” said Jim Coleman, provost and executive vice chancellor. “The quality of faculty …