BY THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Published October 5, 2010
In the wake of cuts to state funding on higher education facilities across the state, the University received some uplifting and positive news — a nanomechanical engineering lab complex will be built on North Campus by 2013. The new lab, called The Center of Excellence in Nano Mechanical Science and Engineering, will be home to a nanotechnology research project. It will focus on progress in healthcare and biotechnology, among other areas. When the facility is complete, it will have the potential to greatly benefit the University and the state. The University and the federal government should continue to invest in this project and other similar lab projects.
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According to a Sept. 29 article in the Daily, the University received a $9.5 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to dedicate to the creation of a $46-million nanomechanical engineering lab complex on North Campus. In addition to the federal grant, the University, the College of Engineering and private pledges will also contribute to the lab's funding. Jack Hu, the organizer behind the original proposal and the associate dean for academic affairs in engineering, noted in an interview with the Daily that the new facility will contribute in vital nanoparticles behavioral research that will benefit the medical and manufacturing fields.
The potential benefits of The Center of Excellence in Nano Mechanical Science and Engineering and similar research efforts are too important to be ignored. The opportunity to further commit to research could have the potential to have many tangible benefits for generations to come. In this case, research devoted to furthering the advancements in the medical field could lead to scientific breakthroughs that actually save lives. For example, nanotechnology could help to better detect and diagnose several types of cancer, as well as create new treatments, according to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.
Research could also prove to be a helpful investment for the state as well. As Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in a press release about the buildings' creation last week, the new lab complex could help diversify our state economy as well as create new jobs. And these benefits are exactly what our state needs as it faces a high unemployment rate and an uncertain future. This facility is just one way to help revitalize state employment by encouraging the growth of the research industry and drawing esteemed researchers and scientists to Michigan.
Not only is the creation of this lab complex beneficial to the state, but it could also encourage and add to the growth of research at the University. With the opening of this new facility, the University will have the opportunity to broaden the scope of its research. This lab complex could draw researchers to the University. In turn, this influx of researchers could improve the speed of research progress. This win-win situation will lead to impressive technological and medical breakthroughs.
The University has shown its commitment to research. And now, the federal government has demonstrated its support, too. But furthering advancements in research shouldn’t end here. The University and federal government should continue to invest in research developments that will lead to valuable real-world benefits.