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For RWU Faculty, Key Role on Economic Development Research in Rhode Island

Faculty members from economics, engineering and construction management leading cross-institutional research projects through statewide collaborative

The College and University Research Collaborative – a statewide public/private partnership that connects public policy and academic research via Rhode Island’s 11 higher education institutions – has awarded research grants to RWU faculty members Gilbert Brunnhoeffer, Matthew Gregg, Rupayan Gupta and Linda Riley.

Each of these faculty members has formed cross-institutional research teams with scholars from other academic institutions to complete projects related to the Collaborative’s current research areas.

Gregg and Gupta – economics faculty members at Roger Williams – are working with Michelle Bach-Coulibaly of Brown University on a project titled “Measuring Successful Arts and Culture Strategies.” The effort will comparatively analyze a set of successful arts initiatives in the U.S. and will provide a series of criteria to measure arts and culture policy success in Rhode Island.

Brunnhoeffer and Riley – of the construction management and engineering departments, respectively – are collaborating with Richard Brown of the University of Rhode Island and Dean Plowman of the New England Institute of Technology on a project titled “Manufacturing Capabilities in Rhode Island and the Potential for University Partnerships.” Their work will provide a database of needs and plans from representative businesses engaged in a wide range of manufacturing in Rhode Island and will examine the roles of higher education institutions in supporting the development of manufacturing capabilities.

The Collaborative’s mission is to increase the use of non-partisan academic research in policymaking and to provide an evidence-based foundation for government decision-making. A panel of policy leaders appointed by Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Speaker of the House Gordon Fox and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed work together to determine consensus-based research questions, which are then shared with the academic community.

The project is funded by the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. It is being administered by AICU — Rhode Island. For 2013, research focus is on economic development in the areas of Arts & Culture, Regional Competitiveness and Advanced Manufacturing.

The Collaborative has developed multiple ways for faculty to participate, including working groups, research teams and as Resource Network members. In his role as Fellow, RWU Associate Provost Robert Cole has been actively working to share details on the Collaborative with faculty and to engage them in our working groups and Resource Network. Additional funding opportunities for scholars will be announced in Spring 2014.

Faculty members who are interested in participating in the Collaborative should contact Amber Caulkins at or (401) 272-8270, Ext. 105.