New center to focus on regional scientific growth

The Department of Education in Arts & Sciences has announced the creation of the Center for the Study of Regional Competitiveness in Science and Technology, located in Harry and Susan Seigle Hall.

St. Louis and the state of Missouri are attempting to capitalize on the strengths of its education and business communities to foster a competitive economic environment for the advancement of the life sciences, information technology and advanced manufacturing. The mission of the center is to examine the alignment of people, policy instruments and partnerships associated with regional scientific and technological growth and production.

“My hope is that the center will become an important resource of quality research related to human capital development and related policy and programmatic evaluation,” said William F. Tate, Ph.D., the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in Art & Sciences and the center’s director. “We want to understand the current state of affairs related to regional scientific and technological growth and production. While largely focused on the St. Louis metropolitan region, we will support the efforts of other regions as time and resources permit.”

Tate said that to seek an understanding of the strengths and problems in our communities is an important civic function.

“This is true in big and small cities, towns, suburbs and rural communities,” he said. “I feel we have a civic responsibility to provide relevant and rigorous research that informs how we come to understand the interdependencies of the social, cultural, and economic institutions in our communities and how they relate to social processes and outcomes.”

Tate believes every major metropolitan region in the United States should have an organized, independent research collaboration engaged in this type of work.

“The founders of Washington University understood that policies and programs to reshape and improve metropolitan America require great universities to invest in scholars and thinkers capable of contributing to the knowledge base and policy discussions associated with the advancement of science and technology,” he said.

“The center is a response to my past research leadership experiences and traditions associated with the University,” Tate said.

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