FEBRUARY 18, 2022 — To address major societal challenges, particularly those facing San Antonio, leaders from the City of San Antonio (COSA), The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) will gather for an interactive panel discussion at the UTSA Downtown Campus, beginning at noon on Tuesday, February 22.
Sponsored by the R&D League—a public/private partnership program created over two years ago by the COSA Innovation Office, UTSA, SwRI and the United Services Automobile Association (USAA)—the panel event will pose questions to inspire new directions for tackling the major challenges facing the city.
“Transformational change requires culture shifts. Major cross-sector collaborations are needed to turn the corner on major challenges and prepare our communities for the future,” explained Brian Dillard, chief innovation officer for the City of San Antonio. “This is an opportunity to hear from city leadership who are paving the path, what’s coming next and how the citizens of San Antonio can participate.”
Discussions will be moderated by David Yokum, director of The Policy Lab at Brown University and a national leader in the evidence-based policymaking movement, a process that leverages scientific methods to improve public policy and operations. Yokum will prompt the panel, field questions and share insights on how data-driven decisions and cross-sector collaboration are key to unlocking wiser solutions to big community challenges.
The panel will feature Ron Nirenberg, mayor of the City of San Antonio, Adam Hamilton, P.E., president and CEO of Southwest Research Institute, and UTSA President Taylor Eighmy.
“Managing the demands of our growing region will require new thinking around infrastructure, transportation and energy with a focus on building sustainability for the climate and environment,” SwRI’s Hamilton said. “Connecting the local research community with applied science and technology will help address these challenges and also promote economic opportunity.”
“Research drives new knowledge, which in turn, supports policymaking to address our community’s needs,” Eighmy added. “San Antonio is a collaborative community, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to work alongside civic leaders, especially those in the R&D League, who are essential partners in this endeavor.”
The upcoming panel is part of the UTSA College for Health, Community and Policy’s Dean’s Community Lecture series, which hosts distinguished community members to engage faculty, staff, students and the public at large in addressing society’s grand challenges. As UTSA continues to drive growth opportunities in innovation, cybersecurity, health and data science, the HCaP lecture series enhances that growth with direct community feedback and collaboration from these series events.
“Having been a proponent of applied research and community engagement for my entire academic career, I am thrilled to see city and community leaders come together with academia to discuss the importance of data-driven policymaking,” said HCaP Dean Lynne Cossman. “We hope many members of the community will be able to join us for this important discussion.”
“With the construction of the School of Data Science and the expansion of the National Security Collaboration Center downtown, and the recent signing of a Master Research Agreement with the city, UTSA is building out the innovation and research ecosystem in the city’s core to address the long-term needs of these local communities,” added Bernard Arulanandam, UTSA vice president for research, economic development and knowledge enterprise.
Registration for the February 22 panel is free and open to the public.
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.