|UND research chief to visit research park in Lucknow, India|
Less than 24 hours after the ground is broken for the UND Research Foundation's new $12 million, 50,000-square-foot Center for Life Sciences and Advanced Technologies research building which will anchor the Research Enterprise and Commercialization tech park, the driving force behind the facility and the park will be on a plane to learn the secrets of a successful research park in Lucknow, India.
“This is a very important trip for us,” said Peter Alfonso, who wears two hats, one as UND's vice president for research and another as the president of the UND Research Foundation. Alfonso is set to meet with academic and government leaders and economic development officials in Lucknow. He also will co-chair a session with Jonathan Geiger at the Silver Jubilee Conference of the Indian Academy of Neurosciences. Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Geiger’s research — focused on determining the underlying mechanisms and potential therapeutic interventions for sleep disorders and against neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and strokes — has attracted international attention and was the basis for his latest international invitation, Alfonso notes.
“Among the things I want to accomplish in Lucknow is a visit to their tech park to talk about how they go about developing the highly trained workforce needed to operate such facilities,” said Alfonso. His trip begins a day after the groundbreaking for the Center for Life Sciences and Advanced Technologies research facility. The center will house a dedicated biosciences research lab, as well as space for UND researchers and commercial companies working with, or interested in, UND-based research projects.
“And we aim to boost our capabilities in research by creating more international opportunities, both for the exchange of scientific ideas, faculty, and students,” Alfonso said. “So I’m going to India to promote UND’s outstanding research establishment.”
Alfonso, UND’s first research chief, has masterminded a significant increase in grant proposals submitted and funded, in new research initiatives launched, and several new key research faculty appointments. In FY06, more than $94 million was received in sponsored program awards, and sponsored program expenditures totaled more than $81 million. Alfonso’s research division also created another first at UND: a technology transfer and commercialization office that identifies and protects the innovations and intellectual property developed at UND.