Worcester Polytechnic Institute President (WPI) Laurie Leshin has been appointed co-chair of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, a forum of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. GUIRR (pronounced "gweer") was created in 1984 as a way to convene senior representatives from government, universities, and industry to define and explore emerging science and technology issues, advance relationships between the sectors, and catalyze action. Leshin will also serve on the GUIRR Council and Executive Committee; her three-year term of office began June 1, 2016.
"GUIRR provides a platform where leaders from the various sectors can come together on an ongoing basis to explore ways to improve the productivity of the nation's research and innovation enterprise," said Susan Sloan, director of GUIRR. "In particular, we look at ways to better and more effectively collaborate. Dr. Leshin's background in academia and government service makes her the ideal candidate to help direct the efforts of the Roundtable going forward. We’re thrilled to welcome her on board."
"I am honored to help lead this impressive panel of top thinkers from across the country, and to work closely with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine," said Leshin. "GUIRR has a long history of building bridges between government, academics, and industry to identify shared points of view and establish common ground upon which to build thoughtful, science-based solutions to major problems. Working with GUIRR is well aligned with WPI's focus on increasing our global impact and addressing societal grand challenges."
GUIRR examines topics with potentially significant policy-level impact, such as food safety and agricultural research, aging infrastructure and critical infrastructure security, the effectiveness of the U.S. patent system, disruptive technologies and the impact on the innovation ecosystem, sustainable manufacturing, research globalization in the context of national security, and the role of culture in international research collaborations. The organization convenes three times a year to facilitate “cross-sector dialog” focused on a specific topic driven by its membership; smaller working groups manage the practical aspects of projects throughout the year.
Leshin succeeds the Honorable Jacques S. Gansler, professor emeritus at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy as GUIRR's University Co-chair. She will serve alongside Industry Co-chair Gordon England, chairman of the board of directors of V1 Analytical Solutions Inc. Members of the Council focus on topics of national importance that have implications for national policy, deploying smaller working groups to facilitate cooperation between government, academic, and industry groups to effect change.