The Center for Applied Plant Sciences (CAPS) is based on a conceptual framework that has rarely been tried before. We knew there must be a more engaging, productive and useful way to catapult plant sciences in a local, national, and global way. On a national level, major funding supports team science, in theory, yet practically, in the field these approaches simply utilize the individual talents of each faculty’s lab toward one investigator’s goals. Our model center is based on a different approach, true team science, not individual talent toward one’s goals, but deliberate creative problem solving by a team of experts based on strategic areas in plant sciences. This creativity for a cause involves leaders in the scientific, business and education fields, identifying what the major themes in plant sciences are, and coming up with novel, innovative ways to solve the problem. Teams then self-identify based on expertise around a common goal created through mutual discussions around a central problem.
CAPS Synergy Workshops bring together faculty from different colleges, departments and campuses. CAPS relies on the workshops for creative problem solving, to guide the group through a series of activities aimed at broadening the conversation in OSU’s plant sciences research program. The workshops drive the development of proposals for membership in CAPS. These proposals were meant to be 10-20 year solutions to challenging problems in CAPS' four strategic areas. It should be a solution that spans the basic to applied sciences continuum, creates a new dialogue in the field, and synergizes new collaborations. We need big science and we get it!
Team proposals are ranked by an External Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB) comprised of global leaders in the field. CAPS resources are then allocated to the highest ranked teams to kick off their projects. Time will tell the success of this new model, but we have already started to change the dynamic here at OSU. We have given investigators an environment to dream big, and revolutionize plant sciences. We would like to share some of the ideas that were generated at this workshop with you. Please explore the links below and feel free to contact us for further information on the Synergy workshop, our teams, or how to submit your own big idea.