The University of Maine and Northeastern University and its Roux Institute have jointly awarded seed funding to five collaborative research teams to address topics important to people in Maine and beyond.
Broadly, the projects involve improving aquaculture vaccines, examining the link between pacifier use and sudden infant death syndrome, better understanding influenza A, creating an improved model of human-artificial intelligence interaction in self-driving vehicles, and developing an instrument that could have vast applications for human health monitoring.
The projects are the first funded in a new collaborative research initiative established between the two universities. Through a rigorous review process involving peer faculty reviewers and research leaders at each university, the five projects were selected from a pool of 21 applications.
Each team has been awarded $50,000 to conduct the one-year projects and will work together to pursue larger external funding programs through federal and private sponsors.
“As manifested by the five selected joint research initiatives, faculty from both institutions should be commended for developing such high-impact projects of significant social and economic benefit to Maine and beyond,” says Kody Varahramyan, UMaine vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School.
David Luzzi, senior vice provost for research and vice president of Northeastern’s Innovation Campus at Burlington, Massachusetts, says, “In today’s world of complex, interdisciplinary challenges, partnerships bring together researchers with complementary expertise that accelerate research progress. This program taps the diverse, deep expertise at our institutions. In addition to funding five impactful projects in the areas of human health and sustainability, the program has resulted in many more new collaborations that will drive progress against important societal challenges for Maine and globally.”
UMaine and Northeastern began to seek ways to formalize partnerships in areas of shared expertise and significance — artificial intelligence (AI), Earth and climate sciences, health and life sciences, manufacturing and marine science — after the formation of The Roux Institute at Northeastern University was announced in January 2020.