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State leaders look to research to "Make It Happen"
By Chris Barnett / July 21, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...

Reports on improving infrastructure, fostering innovation and identifying assets for start-up manufacturers highlight the latest round of studies from the College and University Research Collaborative.  

Launched with $100,000 from our Make It Happen RI initiative, the partnership is putting the best minds in the state’s higher ed community to work developing data on crucial issues that policymakers in the General Assembly and Governor’s office are telling us they need and want.

“By helping Rhode Island policy-makers access the research they need to make smart, data-driven decisions, the Collaborative is playing a crucial role in Rhode Island’s economic comeback,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Working in cross-institutional teams, scholars from nine Rhode Island colleges and universities have already produced a dozen studies this year.

"No ‘think tank’ could compete with the diversity and depth of expertise that we have been able to tap into through the Collaborative,” says Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed.

The partnership has so much potential that we just committed another $97,500 to enable the nonprofit to expand its research and the network of subject experts from academia who serve as sources for policymakers and the media. Additional funding comes from the 11 college and universities that make up the Collaborative and the State.

"The Collaborative’s valuable data and analysis will enable us to make truly informed decisions about our future, and to confidently lead our state to a stronger economy, greater prosperity and a better standard of living for all Rhode Islanders," says House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

Topic areas to be covered in the third year of research will include workforce, higher education, infrastructure, regional competitiveness, social services, municipal services, and energy.

“The consensus from the the Governor’s Office, the House and the Senate about the topics we pursue is unique and makes us a national model for how state leaders, working together, can use non-partisan academic research as they make decisions,” says Amber Caulkens, the Collaborative’s program director.

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