Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is hoping to use the backing of the business community to pass his proposal to invest $1.5 billion in the University of Connecticut.
Meeting in Hartford April 11, Malloy, UConn President Susan Herbst and several business leaders released a list of 100 businesses, ranging from small startups to large Fortune 500 corporations, in support of the Next Generation Connecticut initiative.
The investment, which would take place over 10 years, would increase the student class size by a third, hire additional faculty members and put a greater emphasis of the university’s science, technology, engineering and math programs. Advocates say the investment would lead to more skilled workers and economic activity spurred by additional research at the university.
A part of Malloy’s recent budget proposal, the investment is pending legislative approval. Fairfield County groups supportive of the initiative, include Boehringer Ingelheim, NBC Sports, Purdue Pharma, Pitney Bowes, Xerox, the Business Council of Fairfield County, the Stamford Partnership and several others.
“We have spent years collaborating with research agencies and universities like UConn to advance our hydrogen generation technology,” said Robert Friedland, CEO of Wallingford-based Proton OnSite, in a press release.
“(We) have witnessed the impact that partnerships have on scientific innovation and economic growth … We believe in Next Generation Connecticut’s mission and share the initiative’s commitment to encouraging the next generation of engineers and spurring innovation in Connecticut.”