Office of the President
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center Announcement
Remarks by Kevin P. Reilly, President, University of Wisconsin System
June 26, 2007
On behalf of the University of Wisconsin System, I appreciate the opportunity to celebrate our university’s role – and our state’s role – in solving the world’s long-term energy needs.
Let me echo sentiments expressed by others, in thanking the U.S. Department of Energy and Wisconsin’s congressional delegation for entrusting the University of Wisconsin-Madison with this prominent role in bioenergy research.
I should also recognize Governor Jim Doyle for his leadership in this area, including his administration’s efforts to promote energy efficiency and expand the state’s use of alternative energy sources.
Congratulations to Dean Molly Jahn, Professor Tim Donohue and all of our academic colleagues at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. You should feel proud of this national recognition. By all accounts, you should also feel a bit terrified by this awesome challenge and all the hard work that lies ahead!
We have no doubt that your efforts will be very fruitful, carrying on UW’s extraordinary tradition of scientific discovery and technological innovation.
In addition to outstanding scientific expertise, the University of Wisconsin brings other important capabilities to this groundbreaking project. We benefit from a history of strong university-business partnerships, and an abundance of potential bio-fuel sources. Most of all, we benefit from decades of prudent investments made by state leaders.
This great public university is great because of our public. All Wisconsin residents benefit from educational opportunities and scientific research because all Wisconsin taxpayers support this institution. The children and grandchildren of all Wisconsin residents will benefit from this investment. I have no doubt that our faculty members will be responsible for some exciting breakthroughs in the years to come, but it’s the Wisconsin taxpayers who are responsible for putting us in a position to compete successfully for this federal grant.
Those investments in our higher-education infrastructure extend far beyond the UW-Madison campus. With a total of 26 campuses and one of the finest Extension networks in the nation, the UW System can be a super-charged economic engine for the state – one that runs on alternative fuels, of course.
This grant will expand collaborations within the UW System, providing specific opportunities for UW-Milwaukee, UW-Stevens Point, UW-River Falls, UW-Green Bay and other campuses to bring their own expertise to this bioenergy project.
Wisconsin’s staple industries – production agriculture, dairy, timber, paper, and manufacturing – have all benefited from new technologies nurtured in UW laboratories. With that long record of transforming knowledge into practical solutions that meet the needs of the day, it’s no surprise the U.S. Department of Energy picked Wisconsin as a fitting home for one of its bio-energy centers.
Again, on behalf of the entire UW System, congratulations to everyone involved in this terrific project!
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