UNCW Hosts UNC System Quarterly Chief Research Officer Meeting and Reception

May 11, 2022—The UNC System convened at UNCW for its Quarterly Chief Research Officer (CRO) meeting last week. Chief Research Officers lead research and innovation engines for all 16 UNC campuses. The meeting provides the CRO’s an opportunity to consider common issues and opportunities, build collaborations, and to hear updates from the System Office. Photo gallery available here.UNC and UNCW Image

In addition to the UNC System CRO’s, UNCW welcomed 11 UNC System Office administrative leaders, seven of whom attended in-person. Among the UNC system guests was Kimberly van Noort, SVP for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer (virtually); David English, VP for Academic Affairs; Jennifer Gerz-Escandon, AVP for Academic Programs and Research and Kathie Sidner, Director of Military and Defense Partnerships along with representatives from Business Affairs, the Finance Administration, Federal Relations, and more.

Special guests included Ryan Combs, Executive Director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnerships; Florent Bernard, Counsellor for Research and Innovation from the Delegation of the European Union to the United UNCW and UNC System CRO's MeetingStates, and Jeff Warren from the North Carolina Collaboratory. Mr. Bernard introduced the European Union’s 2021-2027 Research and Innovation program called Horizon Europe and highlighted ways US researchers can collaborate. Jeff Warren, Executive Director of the UNC Collaboratory and Greer Author its research director provided an update on the Collaboratory activities and funding. Kathie Sidner and colleagues from CMI2 introduced the US Army Research Laboratory’s Pathfinder Program that brings soldiers and academic researchers together to solve military challenges.

“It was a true privilege to entertain these special guests and offered UNCW the opportunity to showcase its wide array of research, innovation, engagement capabilities and potential to our colleagues and the System Office,” said UNCW’s Associate Provost for Research and Innovation, Dr. Stuart Borrett, who served as host for the events.

Friday’s quarterly meeting kicked off with a festive Cinco de Mayo-style reception featuring fish tacos with local sea bass at UNCW’s Center for Marine Science (CMS). CMS is a world-class leader in applied marine science, specifically in the areas of biotechnology and drug discovery, mariculture and living resources, coastal resiliency, coastal monitoring, and technology. “It was a privilege to host the reception allowing us to highlight our strengths as North Carolina’s ‘Coastal University’ and explore opportunities for collaboration,” said Dr. Ken Halanych, Executive Director of CMS whose faculty scholars and student researchers conduct applied learning research of local, regional, and global significance.  

The group toured UNCW’s research facilities on campus and the Crest Research Park including the Center for Marine Science (CMS) and its research vessels, MARBIONC, and the Shellfish Research Hatchery.