WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced today that Rhode Island will receive $375,000 over three years through a National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Research Infrastructure Development grant, which is part of NASA’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program. Brown University serves as the Rhode Island state lead for the NASA EPSCoR program.

EPSCoR establishes partnerships with government, industry, and institutions of higher education in order to enhance state and regional capacity for research and development. EPSCoR is directed primarily at jurisdictions that have not participated equitably in competitive aerospace activities.

“I am pleased these NASA EPSCoR funds are coming to Rhode Island to support federally-backed aerospace research projects. EPSCoR offers a great return-on-investment, helping to spur scientific and technological breakthroughs,” said Reed. “EPSCoR supports research and collaboration in Rhode Island by bringing together great minds from leading public and private institutions of higher learning. Strengthening Rhode Island’s research capacity and infrastructure is critical to economic development, and it’s critical to bringing new, high-tech, science-related jobs to the state.”

“Partnerships between research institutions, government agencies, and industry benefit everyone involved,” said Whitehouse. “This funding will help Brown pursue important research and educate young scientists. It will help NASA and other federal agencies develop the technology and knowledge they need to carry out their missions. And it will help companies bring new products to market, growing our economy and creating good jobs.”

“The EPSCoR program provides important opportunities for research and scientific advancement, which not only makes Rhode Island more economically competitive, but also significantly enhances education in the STEM disciplines,” said Langevin. “Brown University is at the center of this research and development, benefitting both students and faculty. I congratulate Brown on winning this award and I look forward to seeing the innovation that comes as a result.”

“I’m delighted that EPSCoR is providing such significant funding to support cutting-edge research and development here in Rhode Island,” said Cicilline. “These Federal funds will help ensure that Brown can continue to pursue important technological advancements and strengthen STEM education so we can be sure students are prepared to succeed when they enter the workforce.”

Through the EPSCoR program, NASA aims to promote the development of research infrastructure in areas of strategic importance; improve the capabilities of the jurisdictions to gain support from sources outside the NASA EPSCoR program; contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities, higher education and economic development of participating jurisdictions; and work in close coordination with the Space Grant program to improve the environment for STEM education.