The PRoTECT program theme is to use Puerto Rico as a testsite with dynamic exposure pathways through karstic aquifers to study Superfund and related contaminants and their contributions to preterm birth. The goal of the Research Translation Core is to enable the knowledge gained from fundamental research to achieve the broadest impact on the wide community of people and organizations that deal with the diverse, real-world aspects of preterm birth. To do this the Research Translation Core uses a three-level strategic approach that focuses core activities on linking the research projects to real-world impacts. The three levels of this approach are: Fundamental Science (Level 1), Enabling Testbeds and Research Translation (Level 2) and the Grand Challenges and Impact on Public Health (Level 3). The Research Translation Core at Level 2 of this approach will serve to dynamically connect the useful knowledge (Level 1) with informed action (Level 3). The core aims to (a) partner with government agencies by (1) emphasizing the scientific significance and/or relevance of the program and (2) building direct partnerships with these agencies;(b) conduct Technology Transfer by (1) forming linkages between PRoTECT investigators and stakeholders and (2) collaborating with industry to jointly pursue field demonstrations and implementation;and (c) communicate with broad audiences by (1) maintaining user-friendly infrastructure and resources for effective and timely dissemination of program outcomes, and (2) providing communication resources to promote professional development and effective communication with the public. Specific activities will be conducted at both the research thrust and program-wide levels. By exchanging information and conducting joint tasks we will collaborate with government agencies (e.g. EPA, USGS, USACE) to translate basic research into implementation (by developing GIS and modeling systems and pursuing opportunities for demonstrations) at two sites in Puerto Rico. Program-wide activities include organizing an annual Research and Industry/Government Collaboration Conference, web-based dissemination of research, and webinars. Prof. Michael Silevitch, Core Leader, has over 20 years of experience leading multi-partner university Centers with broad impact. This experience will be leveraged by PRoTECT.
A critical function of the PRoTECT program is accurate and timely use of research findings and translation of these findings to appropriate audiences and applications. The research translation core will serve to dynamically connect the useful knowledge with informed action. The approach fits within the modern science and technology enterprise which promotes the use-inspired basic research within the framework of Sustainability Science.
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