Shaping Alaska's Future

Research and Development (R&D) and Scholarship to Enhance Alaska’s Communities and Economic Growth

Picture: UA plays a key role in Arctic research benefitting Alaska and the world

Here’s a quick snapshot of some achievements accomplished thus far
  • UA has received a total of more than $650 million in external and highly competitive research funding since FY10, with more than $118 million received in FY14 alone. For every $1 in state funding spent toward research, UA brings in $4.6 in external research funding.
  • UAF research publications and citations on Arctic research top not only the nation, but are also #1 in the world!
  • UAF was one of the 6 organizations out of 240 applications to be a 2014 grantee of the i6 Rural Challenge, a White House-sponsored program run by the U.S. Economic Development Administration's Rural Innovation Strategies program. UAF will use EDA’s approximately $500k investment matched 1:1 with non-Federal funds to leverage the state’s energy challenges as a catalyst for the development of a rural entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing technical and business assistance to microgrid innovators and entrepreneurs.
  • UAF is part of the ASSURE Coalition that has been selected by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the nation's new Center of Excellence in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). ACUASI, is the largest and most operationally focused university UAS program in North America. It is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute and is a core partner in the ASSURE team.



UA leads the world's arctic research

The University of Alaska is on the leading edge in many research fields including the Arctic, energy, ocean science, unmanned aerial vehicles, sustainability, natural hazards, health and public policy. A greater emphasis on developing patents and disclosures will help diversify the Alaska economy and enhance UA’s competitiveness in the global research arena. Through enhanced partnerships and outreach the university will provide the knowledge and strategies necessary for sustaining Alaska’s rural communities. Preserving Alaska Native culture, languages and traditional knowledge is central to UA's mission, and vital to a vibrant and healthy Alaska.

Nationally, a key part of the White House’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region deals specifically with pursuit of responsible Arctic Region stewardship by increasing understanding of the Arctic through scientific research and traditional knowledge. The University of Alaska is poised to be an integral part of a well-coordinated and transparent national and international exploration and research agenda.


Issue and Effect Statements

The Issue statements below address compelling concerns raised by Alaskans through more than 80 listening sessions. The Effect statements associated with each Issue statement express what UA intends to achieve as a high-performing education institution.

ISSUE A: UA needs to attain greater recognition for its accomplishments in research and development and its contributions to economic diversification and quality of life for Alaskans. 

Effect: UA is the first choice of state and federal entities and private industries in Alaska to meet their research and development needs.

ISSUE B: Some Alaska Native languages and cultural traditions are endangered. Many communities do not have sufficient resources to safeguard and nurture culture and the arts, so UA plays a vital role in preserving and advancing this knowledge and these traditions.

Effect: UA is a major center of culture and the arts in Alaska and is a center of excellence for Alaska Native research and scholarship.

ISSUE C: The effects of climate change over the next century will be profound worldwide, but they will be greatest in circumpolar regions. UA is uniquely qualified to conduct interdisciplinary research addressing changing conditions in the circumpolar arctic.

Effect: UA is a recognized world leader and international collaborator in arctic research.

ISSUE D: Circumpolar communities are experiencing rapid social and economic transformation due to changes in climate, ecological systems and global interactions. These communities need research-based and indigenous knowledge in order to adapt. UA has the expertise to assist these communities, and to do so must effectively communicate with those who need it. The Alaska Science and Technology Plan exists to guide UA in developing the needed information.

Effect: Alaskans and their communities use research-based information, enriched by indigenous knowledge, to successfully adapt to change.

ISSUE E: Limited state investment in UA research capacity makes it difficult to remain competitive for research grants, contracts and faculty.

Effect: UA recruits and retains top research faculty and students and maintains modern, world-class research facilities, equipment and infrastucture.