Shaheen Leads NH Delegation in Welcoming Nearly $1 Million NSF Award to the Northern Forest Center to Support Innovation & Ecosystem Management
**Shaheen is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee & Chairs the Subcommittee that funds the National Science Foundation (NSF)**
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, led the New Hampshire congressional delegation in welcoming a $998,056 U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Regional Innovation Engines Development Award headed to the Northern Forest Center. The program was authorized through the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, which Senator Hassan worked to develop and pass into law. This funding will support forest product innovation and forest ecosystem management, which will combat the effects of climate change while simultaneously strengthening economic and workforce development in New Hampshire. The award is a regional partnership and will benefit New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. This development award will hopefully set up the partnership well for future Regional Innovation Engines implementation grant opportunities.
“As we face the ongoing threat of climate change, it’s crucial that we invest in innovative methods to not only lessen the long-term impacts of this crisis on our state’s forest ecosystems, but also use our forests and wood products industry as part of the solution. That’s why I’m thrilled to see nearly $1 million headed to the Northern Forest Center through the NSF’s Regional Innovation Engines program,” said Senator Shaheen. “These funds will advance climate resiliency efforts, as well as promote workforce development in the Northern Forest Region, with expansive implications across New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. As Chair of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the National Science Foundation, I’ll always advocate for funding that addresses climate change and supports economic growth in New Hampshire’s North Country and in our forest economy. ”
“Forests are essential to our way of life here in New Hampshire, and they play an important role in the economic vitality of rural New Hampshire communities,” Senator Hassan said. “This funding from the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, which I worked to develop and pass into law, will help maintain and improve our state’s beloved forests, bolster the forestry workforce, and strengthen our regional economies.”
“It is wonderful to see this federal investment to strengthen New Hampshire’s forest industry,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “As we address the impacts of climate change, it is crucial our public and private forests have the resources to research the best practices for forest management and expand access to innovative and traditional wood markets. I will continue working to support New Hampshire producers and protect our environment for generations to come.”
“It’s welcome news New Hampshire is receiving this funding that will boost our local economy, improve forest management, and advance New Hampshire as a leader in innovation,” said Congressman Chris Pappas. “As we continue to see investments from the CHIPS and Science Act delivered to our state and local communities, I’ll keep working to support our small businesses, increase opportunities in science and technology for Granite Staters, and strengthen New Hampshire’s economy.”
The NSF award for the Northern Forest Center was one of 44 unique teams announced across the nation today by the agency. NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said, "These NSF Engines Development Awards lay the foundation for emerging hubs of innovation and potential future NSF Engines. These awardees are part of the fabric of NSF's vision to create opportunities everywhere and enable innovation anywhere. They will build robust regional partnerships rooted in scientific and technological innovation in every part of our nation. Through these planning awards, NSF is seeding the future for in-place innovation in communities and to grow their regional economies through research and partnerships. This will unleash ideas, talent, pathways and resources to create vibrant innovation ecosystems all across our nation."
"This is a critical time to support forest ecosystem management and forest products innovation in the Northern Forest,” said Joe Short, vice president of the Northern Forest Center and director of the initiative. “Forests and forest products are powerful tools for climate change adaptation and mitigation and provide business and job creation opportunities in rural communities. This award will position our region to accelerate commercialization of forest management practices and forest products that simultaneously support economic growth and climate resilience. We’re grateful to Senator Shaheen for her leadership in funding this program.”
The funds were allocated as part of the NSF’s Regional Innovation Engines Type 1 awards, which were launched by NSF's new Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships and authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. NSF Engines aspire to catalyze robust partnerships to positively impact the economy within a geographic region, address societal challenges, advance national competitiveness and create local, high-wage jobs. NSF Engines Type-1 awards provide up to $1 million in funding for up to two years.
Later this week, NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan will accompany Shaheen for a visit to the Olson Center at the University of New Hampshire to highlight the significant federal investments in New Hampshire through the NSF, which Shaheen routinely secures as Chair of the Subcommittee that funds the agency.
As the Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee – which funds the NSF – Shaheen secured $9.9 billion for the NSF in the fiscal year 2023 government funding bill – a more than $1 billion increase above last year’s enacted level and the largest dollar increase of all time. This funding supports U.S. competitiveness in key areas like quantum computing, artificial intelligence and climate and helps build an innovative workforce fueled by a diverse pipeline of scientists and engineers.