Building Connecticut’s Economic Future Through STEM

Next Generation Connecticut is Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s initiative to greatly expand educational opportunities, research, and innovation in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines at UConn over the next decade. The shared goal of this initiative is to leverage the strength and resources of this University to build Connecticut’s future workforce, create jobs, and invigorate the State’s economy. The cornerstone of this effort is a major increase in the University’s enrollment, the expansion of our faculty, and the development of new and existing facilities to accommodate enhanced STEM research and teaching. It will also support the academic missions and the expansion of critical programs at UConn’s Hartford and Stamford campuses.

The Vision

This initiative represents one of the most ambitious state investments in economic development, higher education and research in the nation. With Next Generation Connecticut, key, targeted strategic investments in facilities, faculty, and students will establish UConn as a vital STEM institution, fueling Connecticut’s economy with new technologies, highly skilled graduates, new companies, patents, licenses, and high-wage STEM jobs. Goals of this ambitious 10-year plan include:

  • Hire 259 new faculty (of which 200 will be in STEM);
  • Enroll an additional 6,580 talented undergraduate students;
  • Build STEM facilities to house materials science, physics, biology, engineering, cognitive science, genomics, and related disciplines;
  • Construct new STEM teaching laboratories;
  • Create a premier STEM honors program;
  • Upgrade aging infrastructure to accommodate new faculty and students;
  • Expand digital media and risk management degree programs and provide student housing in Stamford;
  • Relocate UConn’s Greater Hartford Campus to downtown Hartford.

Historical Context

Connecticut has historically been known as the birthplace of invention and innovation. Connecticut inventors created the cotton gin, anesthesia, the first submarine, helicopter, color television, the portable typewriter, and a range of industrial technologies. The technical proficiency that contributed to Connecticut’s economy has declined dramatically. According to the Kauffman Foundation New Economy 2010 Report, Connecticut ranked #14 in high-tech jobs, #15 in patents, #22 in entrepreneurial activity, and #37 in non-industry R&D investments. Connecticut’s long-term economic competitiveness can be re-invigorated with key investments for pioneering R&D and vital educational programs in the STEM disciplines. Next Generation Connecticut will expand critical STEM activities at UConn and drive innovation, enhancing job creation and economic growth, allowing the State of Connecticut and its workforce to flourish.