New UMS R&D Plan and Grand Challenges

See below for a message from Chancellor Dan Malloy about the UMS R&D Plan and Grand Challenges.

A Message from Chancellor Malloy
UMS Colleagues,
Earlier this year, University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy led the development of a multi-year plan for expanding research and development across the System and delivered that plan to the University of Maine System Board of Trustees. The UMS R&D Plan provides a roadmap for research and development at the state’s public universities to promote industry, business, and community growth in Maine. Long-term outcomes of the UMS R&D plan include attracting new people and financial resources to the state, addressing the current and future workforce needs of Maine, and elevating R&D activities across the System. These outcomes are very much in line with the State of Maine Strategic Planning for Economic Development process that will be finalized this fall. I had the pleasure of speaking at the statewide Strategic Solutions Summit for the state economic development plan from the Orono site last week and Maine’s public universities are serving as a key partner with the Governor’s office in their efforts to improve Maine’s future.
The UMS R&D Plan recommends that the System launch a series of grand challenges over the next decade as a central part of the plan’s implementation. Grand challenges are problems of global, national, and regional significance that require interdisciplinary teams to work together to develop and implement innovative solutions. Such initiatives are ambitious in scope, long-term in scale, and convergent in design. Research universities across the country are engaging in grand challenges focusing their research, education, and outreach efforts to promote discovery, develop the workforce, and engage the public in solving intractable societal problems.
I’m pleased to announce that we are launching a Grand Challenge Pilot Initiative to get things started with the R&D Plan implementation. UMS faculty/staff/students are invited to submit concept papers addressing the theme of “Rural Health and Well-being”. Please take some time to review the program announcement for full details about the competition. This concept paper process is a wonderful opportunity for colleagues from UMS campuses to work together to develop forward thinking R&D approaches to solving important issues for the state of Maine.
Good luck and I am looking forward to the great ideas that spring from this process.
Dan Malloy, Chancellor