What is OSCAR?
OSCAR is the Ocean State Consortium of Advanced Resources. Using the state’s unique physical, natural, and human resources, scholars and entrepreneurs come together in Rhode Island to solve problems that no one could tackle alone.
What sort of resources?
Rhode Island has an incredible wealth of under-recognized assets. Tourists travel from all over to enjoy the Ocean State’s 400 miles of beautiful coastline; however, in addition to its natural beauty, Rhode Island offers a history of entrepreneurship, centralized systems, a thriving scene of artists and designers, and a dynamic collection of students, faculty, and researchers.
Is that all?
No! These existing resources are only one piece of the puzzle. We need new people generating new ideas working together to solve the state’s problems. That’s where OSCAR comes in. Through four “collaboratories” in Health, Education, Creative Communities, and Energy/Environment, our political, academic, and creative volunteers can use OSCAR to pool their knowledge and data. In so doing, they can more efficiently address today’s grand challenges.
How does it work?
Within each collaboratory, OSCAR teams build small-scale “pilot projects,” drawing on the consortium’s resources and extant pool of information. These pilots gather new data and make recommendations about where the state should invest its time, energy and money. One payoff is obvious–these projects will help resolve the state’s “grand challenges.” But in the long term, pilots also bring brilliant minds and new investment money into Rhode Island, securing a future far beyond OSCAR’s current reach.
The challenges Rhode Island faces are real, and they demand immediate action. Unemployment, poverty, healthcare costs, and dropout rates are all on the rise, and government funding has entered a downward spiral. We cannot wait for one entity to come in and save the day, nor can we wait for multiple groups to stumble upon one another over the course of years or decades. In brief, we cannot afford the inefficiencies of the past. OSCAR is here to make innovation omnipresent in the Ocean State today, and to create a preeminent knowledge economy for the future.
Welcome to Team OSCAR–with your help, we’re looking forward to building a better Rhode Island.