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Research Grants, Contracts, Gifts to University System Increase 7 Percent

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Atlanta — March 7, 2000

Research grants, contracts and gifts to the University System of Georgia’s institutions totaled nearly $575 million in Fiscal Year 1999, a 7.1 increase over Fiscal Year 1998. The increase was highlighted in a report delivered to the Board of Regents’ Committee on Education, Research and Extension during their March meeting.

“This is good news for Georgia,” said Associate Vice Chancellor of Planning and Policy Analysis Dr. Cathie M. Hudson. “This increase indicates the high regard in which the System’s institutions are held by government agencies and the corporate sector. It is a yardstick by which we can measure the volume of research activity, and the trend reflects an impressive and broadening level of activity among our universities and colleges.”

These “extramural” funds (or funds from sources other than state appropriations and tuition and fees) extend the ability of the state’s universities and colleges to serve the state. University System institutions are awarded grants to create and apply new knowledge and to address the research and development needs of businesses throughout the state and nation. In addition, contracts and agreements are forged between individual institutions and state and local government and other agencies to provide services which tap University System of Georgia expertise.

University System Fiscal Year 1999 research funds were disbursed among three categories: instruction, $55,410,399; public service, $167,773,691; and research, $251,494,357. The federal government was the source of 48 percent of the funds, the state provided 27 percent, industry contributed 10 percent, another 5 percent came from the nonprofit sector, 1 percent from local sources and 9 percent from other sources.

Some of the top research grants in the University System in Fiscal Year 1999 included:

  • An $8.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to the University of Georgia for the Savannah River ecology laboratory project;
  • A $7.7 million grant from private industry to the Georgia Institute of Technology for a gigascale integration project;
  • A $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to Georgia Tech for a research center for engineering living tissue; and
  • A $2 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to UGA for a sustainable agriculture and natural resource management collaborative project.

The growth in extramural funds received by University System institutions mirrors national trends. A study released this past December by the Industrial Research Institute, a nonprofit group based in Washington that represents large companies, notes a growth in research dollars nationally. From 1994 to 1999, the study said, American industrial research and development grew to a projected $166 billion from $97.1 billion, a rise of 71 percent.

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