Home » Stivers’ SB 1 to foster Ky university collaboration passes committee

Stivers’ SB 1 to foster Ky university collaboration passes committee

SB 1 would set up an endowed research fund administered by CPE
Senate President Robert Stivers previously championed the now-5-year-old $265 million Research Building 2 on the University of Kentucky campus.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, presented Senate Bill 1 to support collaborative research efforts among public universities and address specific research areas such as spinal cord and head injuries. It passed unanimously out of the Senate Education Committee.

SB 1 would establish an endowed research fund administered by the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) with the purpose of funding collaborative research efforts among consortiums.

Senate President Robert Stivers introduced 2024 SB 1 on Thursday, February 22, to create an endowment to support research collaboration among Kentucky universities and colleges.

“Part of the job of this legislature is to enact sound policy to facilitate better futures for Kentucky children and families,” Stivers said. “SB 1 aims to ensure our universities are aligned in that shared objective and are collaborating with each other rather than competing for finite resources. With universities working together in the same direction, our public universities stand to secure additional funds from the state, federal government or others who want to contribute to life-saving research.”

SB 1 would task CPE with soliciting, accepting, and reviewing applications from these consortia to identify five eligible research groups to receive seed funding for a five-year term. The document also introduces a review process to determine future eligibility for funding and instructs the CPE to fill vacancies if a consortium becomes ineligible.

The council then selects five high-quality research consortiums. Each research consortium selected by the council will be assigned to a unique consortium account within the fund for five years.

Each research consortium’s effectiveness will be measured using metrics that include its impact on human quality of life advancements, prioritizing innovations that advance medicine, health, or economic development, and its ability to secure additional funding sources for seed money to perform initial research and prepare proposals to seek grant money from public and private sources.

“This is precisely what Kentucky needs now to catapult us forward in developing premier research consortiums by banding together, pooling our resources to chart a path to success in Kentucky’s future,” said Stivers.

SB 1 will require the Council on Postsecondary Education to select the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust as one of the initial five research consortiums, and this is to be done no later than February 1, 2025. This trust will be subject to the same performance review required for all other research consortiums

The council may expend up to 4% of all interest earnings of the endowed research fund on the costs of managing and administering the endowed research fund.

SB 1 now qualifies for consideration by the full Senate. If passed by the Senate, the bill goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, represents the 25th Senate District, including Clay, Jackson, Knox, McCreary, Owsley, and Whitley Counties. As of January 1, 2023, Stivers will have served as Kentucky Senate president for nearly a decade, first assuming the position in 2013. As Senate president, Stivers chairs the Senate Committee on Committees and the Rules Committee, and is Legislative Research Commission co-chair. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Senate standing committees on Education and Judiciary.

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