Industry funding of university research is an important component of U.S. academic research and industrial innovation, especially as federal funding for universities continues to decline and companies cut back on basic, intramural research. However, U.S. states vary dramatically on the extent to which their research universities attract industry support.
A $4.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation is helping the Association of American Colleges and Universities redesign how schools evaluate their STEM education efforts. The organization received $4.8 million to implement a new, interdisciplinary approach to STEM higher ed reform.
Code.org, the non-profit organization that aims to increase access to computer science education, has raised $12 million in philanthropic funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Infosys Foundation USA and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The announcement came as part of a Computer Science Education Week kickoff event in San Mateo. Meanwhile, eight states, 76 school districts and 102 organizations nationwide made pledges to expand access to computer science education to millions of students.
The 54-year-old observatory, with a fixed dish built into a depression in the karst hills of western Puerto Rico, is the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world—at least until a larger rival in China becomes fully operational. It is used for a range of sciences, including radio astronomy in deep space and radar studies of planets, asteroids and Earth’s atmosphere.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $8.2 million through its Science of Learning program to fund 24 new projects that will advance theoretical insights and fundamental knowledge of learning principles, processes, environments and constraints.
The United States enacted the world’s first research and development tax credit in 1981. The size of the credit is rather small: The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that it will cost taxpayers $57.5 billion over five years. Unlike most other special provisions, the credit actually addresses a clear market failure. When firms invest in research, most of the benefit goes to society in general.
Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced $74.5 million in funding for foundational research and education that aims to address the growing cybersecurity challenge. This investment, through the NSF Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program, is critical to achieving a safe, secure, resilient and trustworthy cyberspace, including associated critical infrastructure such as the energy grid and transportation systems.
As K-12 schools attempt to close the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills gap, federal support for such programs is key. Under President Obama, there was Computer Science for All, an initiative designed to give schools support and funding to provide opportunities for underrepresented students.
Every dollar devoted to computer science education should be spent on professional development for teachers, said Hadi Partovi, the founder and CEO of Code.org. That includes “100 percent,” he said, of the $200 million the Trump administration has directed the U.S. Department of Education to spend on STEM and computer science programs each year.
The CSforAll Consortium's slate of new commitments, announced at this year's summit in St. Louis, came from companies, universities, national nonprofits, cities, school districts, and state departments of education. These initiatives vary widely in scope, but many are directed toward addressing persistent challenges in the field—like teacher-training pathways and professional development, curriculum resources, and accessible out-of-school time programs.