PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02), the leading House Democratic appropriator for scientific research, announces that the National Science Foundation has awarded a six-year, $21.7 million grant to the University of Pennsylvania's Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM).
"The dollars are significant. The cutting-edge mission that Penn's nationally recognized materials research program is undertaking that will benefit America's manufacturing innovators is even more significant," said Fattah. The Congressman is the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies, which oversees funding for the National Science Foundation and other government-sponsored research.
"The National Science Foundation has forged a major initiative for research that will benefit American manufacturing know-how and job development. This major grant to Penn is a prime example of that effort," Fattah said.
"This award will fund six years of research and experiments on the kind of materials that American manufacturers and innovators can adapt to new products, new businesses and new jobs," Fattah said. "Entrepreneurs and startup companies know that Penn and its materials research programs are a go-to place for the ideas that can put Americans to work.
Since 1996 Penn's LRSM -- founded in 1961 to tackle big issues and complex, interdisciplinary projects -- has hosted the National Science Foundation's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, according to Dr. Arjun Yodh, the Lab's director. Dr. Yodh points out that the Materials Research Center has a broad and innovative educational outreach program that goes beyond Penn graduate students. The Center connects with K-12 students and teachers, the general public and others in the educational community, especially in the Philadelphia area.
"We are providing talented people to the American workforce so the nation can be competitive," Dr. Yodh said. "We have summer training programs for high school students and teachers in STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). We have significant interaction with industry - at least 25 companies including startups are directly involved with our center."
Congressman Fattah said, "The United States is the world's leader in manufacturing, but we must redouble our efforts to maintain that leadership in the global economy. The National Science Foundation plays a vital role in identifying and funding this work."
"Tomorrow's jobs depend on today's research and innovation," Fattah said. "Penn and Philadelphia's other great University City institutions are in the forefront."
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah