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Purdue University launches virtual innovation program

Purdue's new multidisciplinary program will allow professors to collaborate with their peers across departments and develop innovative teaching methods and courses. The effort is funded through a $5 million grant and will be a virtual hub for faculty to come together to develop new courses and programs that incorporate multiple fields of study with the goal of preparing students for future jobs that may not exist yet. "For us, there's no better way to look toward the future than to cultivate an innovation mindset today," Jay Akridge, Purdue's provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, said. Betsy Foresman has the details.

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UCF receives Energy Department grant to advance solar energy research

The University of Central Florida will expand its research into solar energy thanks to a new grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The school will receive $7 million from the department's Solar Energy Technologies Office and will be distributed across four of the university's projects, including one to help defend the nation's power grid from cyberattacks. More on the research here.

Army and Howard University team up for AI center of excellence

The U.S. Army will establish a Center of Excellence at Howard University in what will be a $7.5 million partnership to deliver artificial intelligence technologies. The center will look at "vital civilian applications and multi-domain military operations" in three areas and is a big part of the military branch's efforts to grow and retain its science and technology talent base through universities. Sara Wilson has more on FedScoop.

Education Department not budging on colleges' pleas for more pandemic relief

The Education Department is pushing back on claims from higher education leaders that they need additional assistance from the federal government to sustain operations and maintain financial health. Congress sent higher education institutions $14 billion in grants through the CARES Act in March, at the onset of the pandemic, but since then universities have said they need more help. Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, says "there is little to support claims of being cash-poor." Betsy has more.

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