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Congressman Alan Nunnelee and Ole Miss host National Lab Day

Three national labs and four Mississippi research universities met for National Lab Day in Mississippi to help solve some of the nation’s biggest energy problems.

Recently re-elected Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee, national lab leaders and representatives from four Mississippi research universities met Thursday on the campus of The University of Mississippi to host National Lab Day.
Representatives from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory all attended the gathering.
Nunnelee said that it was an exciting day for the state of Mississippi because all four of the state’s research institutes — Ole Miss, Mississippi State University, University of Southern Mississippi and Jackson State University — gathered together for the purpose of research and development.
“Those four universities are cooperating together about doing research and about creating jobs and opportunities for Mississippians.” Nunnelee said “(This day) is also important because we’ve brought in three national labs, and they’re responsible for a lot of research funding throughout the nation.”
Nunnelee said he believes Mississippi’s universities can compete with the world’s best and that this event gives them the opportunity to let universities be in touch with the people funding research projects.
Horst Simon, deputy director at Berkeley Lab, said that Berkeley Lab’s mission was to reach out to more states like Mississippi to help the country on a national level.
“Mississippi is a state that has no national labs, and the national labs have a national mission, so we need to reach out to many more states,” Simon said.
Simon said their mission in Mississippi is to explore opportunities for collaboration to help the researchers of the universities receive access to the big facilities of the national labs.
Eric Isaacs, director of Argonne National Laboratory, said that Argonne came to the event to find partners in researching some of the nation’s biggest issues.
“We try to solve these big problems, but we can’t do it alone,” Isaac said. “We already have collaborations going. We’ve got, in fact, dozens of scientists from here in the universities coming to Argonne to work with our scientists.”
David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University, said that the way the institutions in the state of Mississippi work together is what makes them unique among institutions around the country.
“We very closely work together on a number of different projects already,” Shaw said of the state’s research institutions. “The ability to bring faculty from social sciences all the way to engineering together to work on things is how we will develop solutions.”
Nunnelee said the great research capacity that Mississippi has is what makes it unique in research and development.
“We bring a lot to the table,” Nunnelee said. “And research that is done today will affect quality of life for several generations to come.”