Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State Submits Proposal Aimed at $3 Million

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State Submits Proposal Aimed at $3 Million

Article excerpt

A proposal to compete for a $3 million award to strengthen Oklahoma's scientific and engineering base for high technology r esearch has been submitted by the state to the National Science Foundation, it was reported Monday.

The money would be added to $3 million already provided by the Oklahoma Legislature, said Don Paulsen, president of Fife Corp., and chairman of the More Oklahoma Science and Technology committee, which guides the project.

The plan for the $6 million total is to add key personnel, spend $2.4 million to buy state-of-the-art equipment, recruit graduate students and support about 30 faculty members at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Tulsa University.

"We are one of 12 states competing, and eight will receive awards," said Paulsen. "The National Foundation of Science will do an on-site examination April 23-25. The fact that $3 million already has been appropriated by the state is a major step."

The proposal was made under the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. It is designed for states which previously have not had exceptionally strong science and technology bases, the report said.

Project director is William A. Sibley, assistant vice president for research at Oklahoma State University.

"The leadership in Oklahoma recognizes that Oklahoma's economy must be diversified by an enhancement of basic and applied research," said the report. Also, the United States must place more emphasis on improving science and technology to continue as a world leader, it said.

The experimental program is seen as a "catalyst to accelerate Oklahoma's drive" to improve its science and technology.

Proposed expenditures for the $6 million total include:

- $1.18 million for major equipment in computer integrated manufacturing devices and materials.

- $1.15 million on four new faculty and major equipment for biotechnology.

- $1.16 million on nine grants and 11 faculty in biological sciences.

- $832,000 on six grants and six faculty in computers and materials.

- $478,000 on five grants and seven faculty in natural sciences.

- $484,000 on five grants and six faculty in general sciences.

- $275,000 on major equipment for general purposes.

- $250,000 for major equipment in natural resources.

While the three universities and a number of industrial and government laboratories form a science and technology base, these areas must be strengthened, said the proposal.

Three barriers to research in Oklahoma were listed, including:

- Too few scientists and engineers.

- Too few graduate students.

- Too little state-of-the-art equipment. …

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