What's EPSCoR?

Building Research Capacity

In New Hampshire, the NH EPSCoR program is based at the University of New Hampshire, administered by the UNH Senior Vice Provost for Research and a Statewide Committee.

NH EPSCoR works to improve the research, cyberinfrastructure, and human resources required for New Hampshire to achieve its economic potential through a strong competitive innovation system.

Building research capacity requires investment in the partnerships that lead to scientific discovery and technological innovation. The National Science Foundation established EPSCoR, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, to strengthen science and engineering infrastructure in states that historically have received less in federal research grants. In the last 10 years, since NH became an EPSCoR state, more than $118 million in competitive federal grants have been awarded to the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, and several academic and industry partners to support basic research in environmental and space science, biomedicine and health sciences, and energy.

Federal investments in NH EPSCoR, further leveraged by state and private funds, have already built high-speed internet networks, expanded R&D capacity at our research institutions, and launched new educational programs for students in technical fields of study.

Spurring Innovation through Investments in Broadband Networks

In 2009, fiber-optic networks were nonexistent north of the Massachusetts border. NH EPSCoR joined forces with ME, VT, RI, and DE to develop a plan to link the research universities in those five states to the high-speed Internet hub in Boston. The North East Cyberinfrastructure Consortium received more than $14 million in grants from NSF and NIH to build fiber-optics networks. New Hampshire’s share, just over $3 million, jump-started a statewide effort to bring 21st century communications capacity to vitally important government, health, community and educational institutions. An infusion of more than $54 million in federal grants, matched by more than $20 million in private sector funding, has launched seven Internet expansion projects. In 2014, New Hampshire ranked number one in the poll, “The 10 States with the Best Quality of Life,” citing accessibility of services, with 79% of households reporting they had access to broadband, the highest in the U.S.

Strengthening the R&D Pipeline

NH EPSCoR has built advanced laboratories and testing facilities and installed a statewide network of environmental sensors. We have established educational programs to train new scientists and teachers and provide hands-on research experiences to youth who aspire to a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. We are sharing data from our research projects with municipal, state, and federal officials who make decisions that affect our towns, cities, forests and water resources.

Supporting New Hampshire

NH EPSCoR developed the state’s Science and Technology (S&T) Plan which provides information, data, and analytical tools to make better decisions and strengthen the state’s technology-driven economy. Strong innovation systems stimulate private investment and encourage and support entrepreneurs who create the next generation of companies and foster economic growth.

Current research projects include:

Ecosystems & Society
An advanced sensor network has been deployed across the state that puts New Hampshire in the forefront of using technology and the Internet to continuously collect environmental data, which can be used to chart a sustainable future, ensuring our natural resources continue to provide for future generations.

New England Sustainability Consortium
This project is a collaboration with Maine EPSCoR and aims to strengthen the scientific basis for decision making in the management of recreational beaches and shellfish harvesting.

Ecosystems Computing Challenge
This project is a partnership model aiming to build access to relevant computing education for underrepresented high school students using mobile applications and data from the Ecosystms & Society project.

 


 

EPSCoR programs or similar models have been developed by NASA, the Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture, and the National Institutes of Health. For information on these programs in NH, see Partnerships.

For more information about science and technology in New Hampshire, see the reports below:

New Hampshire's Science and Technology Plan

STEM in New Hampshire:  A Labor Supply and Demand Analysis