Justice Flanders to lead URI research commission

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Gov. Donald L. Carcieri has named lawyer Robert G. Flanders Jr., a former R.I. Supreme Court associate justice, to chair a new commission charged with recommending ways to enhance research activity at the University of Rhode Island.
Flanders – currently a partner in the Providence firm Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP and an adjunct professor at both Brown University and Roger Williams University – also serves as a member of boards and commissions for organizations including the Care New England hospital system, Women & Infants Hospital, the Providence Performing Arts Center, Veterans Memorial Auditorium, the R.I. Historical Society, Common Cause of Rhode Island and the Brown University Leadership Advisory Council. He is a graduate of Brown and of Harvard Law School.
“It is a pleasure and honor to serve as chair of the URI Commission for Innovation,” said Flanders in a statement. “URI is one of Rhode Island’s most important resources. I am excited to work with other members of the commission, Gov. Carcieri, the General Assembly, and leadership at the University of Rhode Island to develop ideas for how we can make the most of this valuable asset.”
The governor made the appointment at last week’s meeting of the R.I. Science and Technology Council, which originally suggested the commission. Legislation authorizing the panel was approved last year by the R.I. General Assembly.
The nine-member panel is charged with developing a strategy that will help URI to increase the university’s “unusually low level of industry investment in academic R&D”; produce a stronger, more technologically and scientifically oriented work force; and better utilize federal and private national funding opportunities.
STAC is to provide staffing for the commission and will be responsible for reporting its findings to the governor and the assembly by September 2008.
“By establishing the URI Commission for Innovation, we will find ways to both strengthen the university’s position as a nationally competitive public research institution and enhance the role it plays in our ongoing efforts to build an innovation economy,” Carcieri said in a statement.

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