He said researchers are looking to improve the art of mining as a whole and to improve technology to make the job safer and more productive.
Goodwin selected three researchers earlier this year to serve as foundation officers. Keith Heasley of West Virginia University's College of Engineering and Mineral Resources; David Wegman, emeritus professor of work environment at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell; and Michael Karmis, professor and director of the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech, led the panel discussions Wednesday.
"The tragedy at UBB was a bitter reminder that we have much more work to do in mine safety and health," Goodwin said in a release. "The goal of the foundation is to make sure our best and brightest minds are working on mine safety and have the resources they need.
"If we can accomplish that, we'll see breakthroughs that will transform mining in the years ahead. We want a future where mining is as safe as any other job."
He said the criminal cases filed in relation to the 2010 mine disaster remain ongoing.
Hughie Stover, who worked as a security chief at the now shuttered Upper Big Branch mine, was convicted last October of lying to investigators and ordering a subordinate to destroy documents following the deadly disaster.
He was sentenced to three years in federal prison but has yet to report to serve his sentence. Stover, 60, appealed the conviction in May.
Goodwin said further investigation is "still advancing as quickly as we can."
He said he would like to see the investigations move faster but the matters are "broad" and "take time." He anticipated future announcements soon.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.