Applied Research and Services | 2009/2010 Budgetary Challenges | 2009/10 CSU Support Budget Book II | Budget | CSU
2009/10 Support Budget II

Additional Challenges

Applied Research and Services, $16 Million

The CSU is requesting $16 million to perform applied research in five areas critical to California’s future and economic well-being:

Agriculture $5 million
Biotechnology $3 million
Coastal Studies $3 million
Fresh Water $3 million
Critical Languages $2 million
Total $16 million

These five programs all have several common elements:

  • Address areas of research vital to the current and future well-being of the state of California;
  • Align closely with the educational mission of the CSU and its role in providing the educated workforce needed to drive California forward;
  • Utilize a peer-based, proposal evaluation process to ensure that state funds are expended only on projects that are deemed to have high value to the state and a solid scientific basis for support; and
  • Have the potential to yield many times their state funding in matching and/or additional research funds.
Agriculture (top)

Agriculture, food processing, and beverage manufacturing make up one of the largest and most widespread industry clusters in all of California. Every region of the state (except the heavily urbanized Los Angeles region) has a strong and distinctive specialization in agriculture and/or downstream food and beverage manufacturing. Agricultural enterprises contribute in excess of $34 billion to the California economy and are essential to its economic vitality.

The CSU produces over 52 percent of California’s college graduates in agriculture-related majors. Closely related to and integrated with its core educational mission, the CSU is also a leader in performing applied research to improve the efficiency, productivity, profitability, and sustainability of California agriculture and its allied industries. At the forefront of the CSU’s endeavors is the Agricultural Research Initiative (ARI), a multicampus agricultural and environmental sciences research consortium launched in fiscal year 1999/2000. The requested funding will be administered through ARI’s proven method of peer-reviewed proposal evaluation.

Providing additional funding for applied agriculture research will prevent the loss of jobs, the loss of crops, the loss of the economic value of crops, the degradation of agricultural resources, the loss of farms and farmers, and/or the loss of opportunities to derive greater value from agricultural enterprises. This funding will support innovative approaches such as sustainable agriculture in an effort to promote farming practices that are ecologically sound and economically viable. Funding for sustainable agriculture could provide matching resources to similar efforts on the federal level through the Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE) programs.

Biotechnology (top)

Life science companies and academic institutions in California generated more than $73 billion in revenues during 2007 and employed over 260,000 professional in the state. As impressive as the growth in biotechnology has been, an even more important fact is that California is home to at least half of the biotechnology companies in the country and more than two-thirds of the workers in this industry are at the Bachelor of Science or Master of Science level. In short, California currently is, and has the potential to continue to be, the leader in this increasingly important, knowledge-based industry.

The CSU is doing its part to ensure the vitality of this important industry. The CSU grants 44 percent of all the bachelor’s degrees awarded in life sciences in the state and also maintains centers of excellence where vital applied research is performed. Within the CSU, the critical biotechnology research institution fulfilling the research role is CSUPERB (CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology). The requested research funds will be administered by CSUPERB. Failing to provide additional applied biotechnology research funding could make it difficult for the state to maintain its leadership position in a growing industry with high-paying jobs.

Coastal Studies (top)

California has the largest ocean economy in the nation, totaling over $42 billion in gross state product in 2000. Yet the coastal margins of California are coming under increasing pressure from land use, growing volumes of commercial trade, invasive species, harmful algal blooms, marine pathogens, and declining fisheries, all of which are taking place within a context of climate change.

In light of the importance of the coastal environment to California (and the nation) and the emergence of a wide range of new threats, expenditures (of resources and intellect) to preserve and protect the quality of the coastal environment are essential to maintaining the economic vitality of the state. In most cases, the key to recognizing emerging trends is the availability of accurate and timely data. The requested funds will be administered by CICORE (Center for Integrative Coastal Observation, Research and Education), to perform critical applied research to gather, interpret, understand, and disseminate wide-ranging coastal environmental data critical to preserving California’s coastal resource.

Fresh Water Studies (top)

Water is critical to the future growth and the quality of life in California; therefore, ensuring the availability of affordable and adequate supplies of high-quality water is among the state’s highest priorities. Fulfilling this goal demands an integrated and concerted research program. Several CSU campuses have established centers dedicated to water research. These include:

  • The California Water Institute at CSU Fresno,
  • The Water Resources Institute at CSU San Bernardino,
  • The Watershed Institute at CSU Monterey Bay, and
  • The Institute for Forestry and Watershed Management at Humboldt State University.

The research activities of these CSU programs address critical policy and research needs of agricultural, urban, and environmental water uses in California. It is critical that a unified program of education, research, and policy be directed toward the state’s complex, water-related needs. The CSU has established a strong foundation from which to leverage additional resources to meet California’s ever-growing need for trained professionals and improved understanding of the state’s complex water issues.

Critical Languages (top)

California’s economic competitiveness is critically related to the language and cultural competencies of its workforce. The CSU, the largest baccalaureate degree-granting university system in the country, can effectively meet the needs of the state’s businesses and industries for near-native language competence through expansion of its highly successful language immersion programs in Mandarin, Arabic, Korean, Persian/Farsi, and Russian now in place at several southern CSU campuses.

More than 52,000 companies exported goods from California locations in 2006 and over half a million California workers are employed by foreign-controlled companies. The primary source of California’s global competiveness is thus the education, skills, and flexibility of its workforce. If more of California’s workers, particularly those engaged in trade, transportation, tourism, technology development and manufacturing, and international business careers, do not have expertise in languages commonly spoken in Asia and the Middle East, then critical opportunities for building California’s network of economic partnerships around the Pacific Rim, in the Middle East, and in Eastern Europe will be diminished. This proposal would fund the expansion of the successful pilot programs to serve central and northern California CSU campuses.