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Crosscut: How a “game-changing” gift is supercharging UW research

crosscutCrosscut describes the Washington Research Foundation’s $31.2 million commitment to the University of Washington, including $9.3 million to the eScience Institute:

“Talk with top UW researchers and faculty, and ‘game changing’ is the most common phrase used to describe the WRF investment …

“The dollars will support only four programs at the university, each selected because it plays to the university’s most promising strengths …

“According to WRF CEO Ron Howell, his organization’s $31.2 million gift was inspired by Jeff Bezos. In 2012, in the interests of creating a Big Data ecosystem in Puget Sound, the Amazon CEO endowed two $1 million professorships. The seed money enabled UW to lure two coveted Big Data researchers away from other top-tier schools who were recruiting them. This hiring coup “stimulated our thinking,” Howell says.

“Fittingly, more than $9 million — the largest single portion — of the WRF’s gift goes to fund the Global Leadership in Data-Intensive Discovery program in the UW’s data-centric eScience Institute. The money will help support six new faculty members, three chairs, three professorships and 13 postdoctoral researchers.”

Read more here.

May 22, 2014