Additionally, the FIU secured a $10 million increase in the US Army Research Laboratory’s Coldspray additive manufacturing program. Coldspray technologies — 3D printing for metals — help repair, design, and sustain high-performance materials that will be used to make next-generation vehicles and munitions. The CRF also secured $5 million for the Department of Transportation to launch a bridge technology clearing house.
Tomás R. Guilarte, dean of Stempel College and principal investigator of FIU’s PET/Cyclotron Center, says federal funds will allow the university to reach new heights — and serve the community in an even greater way. . While the total start-up costs for the center will be approximately $10 million, the $2 million in federal funding is a critical first step, kick-starting this important initiative.
“This will advance the reputation and research enterprise of CRF and open up opportunities that are not possible at present,” he said. “We are extremely excited. If you’re studying Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s really very difficult to understand the biochemistry of the living brain and how it changes over time without this technology. This is a major milestone for our CRF, and with such a center, we will be able to help our community fight against these diseases and open up opportunities for research, teaching, collaboration and philanthropy.
Impact of advocacy
Fundraising successes like these are the product of CRF’s strong advocacy efforts by university deans, faculty members and alumni advocates. Carlos Becerra, associate vice president of government affairs, has led efforts in Washington, DC, for years to educate policymakers about CRF research. The work has clearly demonstrated the potential of the CRF to members of Congress who are staunch supporters of the university’s research and initiatives.
The strength of the CRF in the national capital lies in the university’s ability to connect with a wide circle of leaders and officials from the public, private and non-profit sectors, as well as with FIU alumni who have risen to positions of authority. The synergy creates a dynamic environment that leads to greater visibility, more opportunities for collaboration with other entities, and a growing reputation as a source of top researchers and work-ready employees.