The Impact of University Research and Innovation on Pandemic Resilience
The University of Arizona is operating and delivering on research and innovation successfully throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They are protecting the health & safety of their students, staff and faculty. And their research & innovation portfolio is growing. To that end, the Office of Research, Innovation & Impact (RII) is executing a plan that allows the research enterprise to expand and contract effectively & efficiently as conditions dictate and for pivoting rapidly to help inform the campus re-opening process across many domains, including COVID-19 testing, safety guidelines and best practices, student experiences, and more. With approximately 55% of the university’s operational research activity currently back up and running, up from about 20% in April to June, RII is learning lessons from the pandemic that will help boost the institution’s resilience and help us understand how to maintain productivity during future crises.
Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, PhD, MBA, Senior Vice President for Research & Innovation at The University of Arizona, will provide an overview of the institution’s approach continuing its research mission and opportunities for high-impact innovation during the pandemic and how COVID-19 could shift the research model going forward.
• The way fundamental research is conducted will change because of the pandemic, and for the better.
• We will see the components of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning — accelerate.
• Work on behavioral modification to allow us to operate safely, even during a pandemic.
• The basic research enterprise at universities was purposefully built to allow the nation to deal with crises like the pandemic.
• How to support the basic research enterprise to enhance regional capacity for resilience.
About the Speaker:
Elizabeth R. Cantwell, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation
Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell leads the Office of Research, Innovation & Impact at the University of Arizona. The office includes the university’s research enterprise, Corporate Engagement Program, Tech Launch Arizona, Tech Parks Arizona and Arizona Forge. Dr. Cantwell is responsible for expanding the university’s capacity for knowledge creation and discovery; integrating efforts by faculty, students, staff and executive leaders to move inventions and technologies to the marketplace; increasing the university’s connectivity with external collaborators; spearheading industry and public partnerships; and increasing total research funding.
Before joining the university, Cantwell served as the CEO of Arizona State University Research Enterprise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the university’s applied research and development, and as a professor of practice in engineering.
She has a long career in space systems engineering, from satellite development to life support systems, and sits on the National Academies Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
9:00 – 9:05 a.m. | Opening Remarks
9:05 – 10:00 a.m. | Presentation and Audience Q&A
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