NSights Blog

Cross-campus ecosystem fosters research, innovation and more

The R&I mission: create an environment that enables faculty, staff and students to excel in your research, scholarly, creative, innovative and entrepreneurial endeavors.

The University of Nevada, Reno is a high-impact research University with a goal to be among the best in the nation. This commitment, coupled with our efforts to have research, scholarship and creative activities be pervasive throughout the University, sets the foundation for us to achieve a clear, convincing and inspiring milestone: the classification of Highest Research Activity (R1) by The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

The University's larger goal is perfectly aligned with the mission of Research and Innovation (R&I): To create an environment that enables our faculty, staff and students to excel in their research, scholarly, creative, innovative and entrepreneurial endeavors and shape the University as a nationally and internationally recognized force of innovation and transformation. 

As we have gone about this important work, I have found myself borrowing a term from our colleagues in biological sciences - ecosystem. We are working to improve or create programs, services and resources and do so in a way that transforms our R&I infrastructure into an ecosystem that fosters research and scholarly activities, innovation, commercialization, faculty competitiveness and early-career success, while valuing and embracing collaboration with Nevada's citizens, public officials, organizations and businesses.

I am proud of my colleagues who are the architects of the faculty-first mantra that has been embraced by the long-standing resources available through R&I: Animal Resources, Environmental Health & Safety, Research Integrity, Sponsored Projects, Undergraduate Research, INBRE and Proteomics. I am equally proud of those guiding the newer additions to R&I, including Enterprise and Commercialization, The Innevation Center, Nevada Center for Applied Research and Nevada Industry Excellence. Across these services and departments, there is a keen desire to work in partnership with our faculty colleagues and to improve and streamline processes. Innovative grant programs for projects and equipment, professional development programs, opportunities to meet one another and foster collaboration, commercialization of resources and mentoring for start-ups, access to Shared Research Facilities and equipment, and ways to connect with business, industry and entrepreneurs are among the R&I resources that have been added or enhanced most recently.

As we shape this R&I ecosystem, we also recognize the opportunity to better communicate what is available to the campus community. The R&I website is our primary communication tool and is frequently updated.  January 2017 will see the introduction of a new campus e-newsletter, Research & Innovation Matters, to share news and information.

It is an honor to work alongside this University's talented researchers, faculty, staff and students as you improve lives through exploration, engagement, meaningful discoveries and inspiring scholarly activities. Together, we are further defining the University of Nevada, Reno as a high-impact university that embraces the modern Land-Grant mission to meet the evolving and emerging needs of the state by focusing on local, national and international grand challenges. It is rewarding work, indeed.

Mridul Gautam