Government Relations

Government Relations Legislative Update

Government Relations Legislative Update

Updates on state and federal issues relating to the UW System.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Federal Update for February 9, 2012

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced the launch of a new Energy Innovation Hub for advanced research on batteries and energy storage. The interdisciplinary R&D hub, which will be funded at up to $20 million in FY 2012, will "focus on accelerating research and development of electrochemical energy storage for transportation and the electric grid." View further information about the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Letters of Intent to apply are due on March 1, 2012 with full applications due on May 31, 2012. Universities, national labs, nonprofit organizations, and private firms are eligible to compete and are encouraged to form partnerships. The award selection is expected this summer.

This week, the White House gathered private sector leaders and government officials to highlight progress in using science, technology and innovation to promote global development. Several new efforts were announced, including the new U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) partnership with universities to solve development challenges. A commitment to work with member institutions and the federal government to ensure that research advances developed by universities related to public health benefit all people, including those in the developing world, was reaffirmed.

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released its report entitled "Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics." This report aims to provide a strategy for improving STEM education during the first two years of college.

Also this week, Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics (REE) and Chief Scientist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Catherine Woteki, announced the release of the REE Action Plan.

The Action Plan was developed after consultations with USDA's stakeholders, including the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, with the aim of enabling REE to focus resources on the opportunities and challenges ahead for American agriculture. Questions or comments on the Action Plan should be directed to Karen Hunter at (202) 260-3988 or

(APLU and the UW System Office of Federal Relations contributed to this report.)