The Alabama Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ALEPSCoR) Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) (2008-2013 performance period) has created an integrated, statewide partnership among multiple academic institutions, including: Alabama A&M University (AAMU), Auburn University (AU), Tuskegee University (TU), the University of Alabama (UA), the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), and the University of South Alabama (USA).
ALEPSCoR-RII-3 aims to enhance research capacity and competitiveness in the emerging, interdisciplinary area of nano/bioscience and sensors. This focus was developed via statewide efforts over the past several years aimed at identifying strengths and opportunities in Alabama that could be best built upon to enhance research capacity and competitiveness.
Mission of the Alabama EPSCoR RII-3 is to establish a multi-campus nano/bio science and sensor research and education infrastructure for the State of Alabama that will allow researchers and research centers to be nationally competitive and ultimately self-sustainable.
The Alabama EPSCoR RII-3 Vision is to enable internationally-competitive nano/bio research and contribute significantly to science and technology-related education, outreach, and economic development in Alabama.
In order to achieve the vision, a set of coordinated research and education activities, and capacity-building strategies are conducted by four interrelated, multi-institutional thrust areas coupled to cross-cutting outreach initiatives. Tuskegee faculty members are involved in two of these thrusts.
Alabama EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) program, under the guidance of EPSCoR Steering Committee (the governing board of ALEPSCoR) is united under the common research theme of Integrated Nano-BioScience/Biosensors (NBS). The program is anchored through four integrated thrusts with goals focused on discovery and technological innovation in complementary fields that include: nano-molecular and bioenvironmental science; nanomaterials and composites; nanofabrication; and optical sensing. These thrusts are further integrated through the overarching Alabama Educational Outreach Initiative (AEOI), which serves to engage students, teachers and scientists at all levels, statewide, in related STEM activities and research experiences. From innovation to application, no single thrust can address all of the goals of the Alabama program. Therefore, through complementary and collaborative efforts, the current ALEPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) effort functions with one synergistic purpose: to create, explore and develop new ideas, tools and integrated nano-/biotechnologies and materials; understand the challenges and opportunities associated with and risks attendant to the application of such technologies in living systems; and to promote development of Alabama as an interdisciplinary innovation incubator and economic engine that can produce and attract the next generation of nano-/bioscientists and engineers.