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Media Advisory 06-007

Charles Vest to Speak at NSF

President Emeritus of MIT will speak on the importance of innovation in the 21st century

Dr. Charles M. Vest, President Emeritus, MIT

Dr. Charles M. Vest, President Emeritus, MIT.

March 2, 2006

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

MIT President Emeritus Charles M. Vest will speak at the National Science Foundation on Wed., March 8 as a Distinguished Lecturer hosted by the Directorate for Engineering and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

In remarks titled "Innovation: A 21st Century Imperative," Vest will discuss the critical role of innovation in the nation's future and how that future is impacted by globalization and the advancement of research.  A synopsis is included below.

Vest is a leader in higher education and science and technology policy.  He served as President of MIT from 1990 through 2004 and as vice chair of the Council on Competitiveness from 1997 to 2004.  Vest continues to advise the highest levels of government and academia and now serves on the U.S. Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.  He was a member of the Presidential Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, and of the Augustine Committee that wrote the report Rising Above the Gathering Storm.

Date: Wed., March 8, 2006
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 1235
Arlington, VA 22230
Metro: Orange Line, Ballston
RSVP required.  Please contact Josh Chamot, Media Officer for Engineering, at
(703) 292-7730 or



A 21st Century Imperative

Charles M. Vest

President Emeritus, MIT

The future success of companies, nations, and indeed individuals depends upon their ability to innovate.  In our dynamic world, no person or organization can stand still and yet be successful.  Nations spawn innovation by generating new knowledge and technologies through research, and by educating men and women to understand this new knowledge and to move it to the markets as new products, processes, and services.  The universal essentials are a strong base of talent and R&D coupled to a vibrant free market economy.  The National Academies' report Rising Above the Gathering Storm and the Council on Competitiveness' National Innovation Initiative provide guidelines for maintaining the nation's capacity for innovation. Yet scholars sense that the best models for successful innovation are changing because of globalization and the relentless progress of science and technology.

Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF, (703) 292-7730, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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