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Alum Daniel Lipinski Receives Champion of Science Award

President Schapiro, two Northwestern faculty members participate in award event

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University was well represented at an award ceremony for U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski who was honored today (Nov. 26) with the Champion of Science Award from The Science Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of the nation’s leading public and private research universities.

Northwestern President Morton Schapiro participated in the award presentation, and Northwestern’s Linda Darragh and Mark Hersam then joined university and industry leaders in an entrepreneurship roundtable discussion, convened by Lipinski.

The event was held at 1871, a co-working center for digital startups in downtown Chicago.

President Schapiro presented Lipinski -- a Northwestern alumnus -- with the award in recognition of his “strong commitment to funding the basic research that keeps the United States and the state of Illinois at the forefront of scientific discovery and technological innovation.”

“Congressman Dan Lipinski understands that the federal government’s investment in science and education is critical to our economic growth, our national security and our quality of life,” President Schapiro said. “Since his election to Congress in 2004, he has emerged as a leading voice in support of basic research, transferring research discoveries into the marketplace and training the next generation of scientists and innovators. I am proud to honor this distinguished alumnus of Northwestern University as a true champion of science.”

Speaking prior to President Schapiro were Robert Zimmer, president of The University of Chicago; Mark Harris, president of the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition; Eric Isaacs, director of Argonne National Laboratory; and Caralynn Nowinski, associate vice president for innovation and economic development at the University of Illinois (representing President Robert Easter).

Science Coalition members Northwestern, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois nominated Lipinski for the award.

Following the ceremony, Darragh, executive director of the Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice at the Kellogg School of Management, and Hersam, director of the Materials Research Center and professor of materials science and engineering and Bette and Neison Harris Chair in Teaching Excellence at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, participated in the roundtable discussion on the state of the Illinois innovation economy.

The group discussed opportunities for the federal government to strengthen entrepreneurship and technology commercialization by providing strong and consistent basic research funding and supporting policies and programs that translate research outcomes into products and companies that drive economic development.

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