A creative team at Colorado State University, on behalf of 14 organizations that support higher education and research, released a video on Thursday, Feb. 27 encouraging the Federal Governent to close “Innovation Deficit.” The innovation deficit is defined by the Close the Innovation Deficit website as “the widening gap between the actual level of federal government funding for research and higher education and what the investment needs to be if the United States is to remain the world’s innovation leader.”
UR is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), one of the 14 organizations that backed the creation of the video.
The video, a series of fast-paced sketches and narration explaining the “Innovation Deficit” that exists in federal investment, was created in lieu of President Obama’s 2015 budget proposal on Tuesday, March 4.
Vice President for Public Affairs for the AAU Barry Toiv discussed the goals of the video.
“We hope that the video will draw additional attention to this issue and encourage those who are interested to let Congress know how important it is to provide strong funding for research and higher education,” Toiv said. The overall purpose of the video was to acknowledge the topic and make it easily understandable to any audience.
The video, narrated by Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications for CSU Mike Hooker, says, “More than half our country’s economic growth in recent decades has been thanks to innovation.”
It refers to the investment in research and higher education as an investment in “great minds.”
The video concludes by prompting the viewer to think of the U.S. as a “magnet” for “great thinkers”, and calls for active interaction with Congress to encourage greater investment.
Though not an active participant in the creation of the video, UR and other AAU members and major news sources tweeted the link to spread the word.
“I often work with my AAU colleagues to lobby Congress to support federal sponsored research through federal funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation,” UR President Joel Seligman said. “UR is also a member of the Science Coalition which has a similar mission.”
Confirming this, Toiv said, “The University of Rochester already participates actively in efforts to convince Congress and the Administration to invest in research and higher education.”
Seligman also discussed the importance of UR’s policy of a diversity of curriculum in the context of innovation. Mentioning Steve Jobs’ fascination with calligraphy and Albert Einstein’s dedication to his violin, Seligman said, “I am convinced that some of our wisest innovators, doctors, engineers, scientists and teachers are people who were exposed to the gamut of human experience.”
Toiv said of the video, “We hope folks will watch the video, have some fun, learn something, and share it with others.”
McAdams is a member of the class of 2017.