HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - A state research initiative is getting a $20 million federal grant to expand infrastructure and add positions at West Virginia, Marshall and West Virginia State universities.
Marshall University President Stephen Kopp and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission announced the grant from the National Science Foundation on Monday.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller called the funding seed money for economic development.
WVU will use its nearly $10 million share on projects designed to enhance public and environmental safety, prepare a work force for new high-tech jobs and improve high-performance scientific computing.
WVU researcher David Lederman said his work will fuse nanotechnology and biology to develop technology that could help detect environmental threats.
Projects could eventually include sensors that detect contaminants near industrial areas before they become a public threat, for example.
The universities and the state each will provide $2 million in matching funds.
The funding will also be used to create new faculty, post doctoral and graduate positions and to add lab equipment and cyberinfrastructure.