Posted January 20, 2012
Inclement weather interfered with Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's attempt to unveil the proposed new $3 million IGEM, Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission, in person in Pocatello on Jan. 18 so he did it virtually instead.
Heavy snows in Boise prevented Otter from flying to Pocatello to announce IGEM at the Idaho State University research facilities in the former Ballard Building on Alvin Ricken Drive, so the governor held a video conference beamed from Boise State University to University of Idaho and to the Idaho State University President's Office.
Otter said IGEM's mission is to create new enterprises and high-paying, knowledge-based economy jobs by increasing strategic areas of research and development through targeted partnerships among industry, higher education and government that leverage new and existing resources.
The Governor's fiscal year 2013 budget includes:
• A recommendation of $1 million for the Department of Commerce for a fund to bridge the gap between the development of a technology at an Idaho university and its commercialization. The focus would be on technologies with viable commercial application and a private industry partner.
• A recommendation of $2 million for competitive state university research under the direction of the Idaho Higher Education Research Council (HERC).
Following Otter's teleconference, ISU administrators and researchers held a press tour at the ISU research facility, formerly the Ballard Building, that was attended by dozens of local officials and business leaders. ISU and Idaho State Board officials touted the IGEM program. The press conference, which included demonstrations, was held in the facility's nano crystal laboratory, and a tour of the facility followed.
Referring to the IGEM program and efforts like it, ISU President Arthur C. Vailas said, "It puts higher education front and center in the economic development of the state."
The IGEM program provides an opportunity for ISU faculty to collaborate with staff at the Idaho National Laboratory and faculty at Boise State University and the University of Idaho in funded research directed toward commercialization of research results to support Idaho's economy.