News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

October 26, 2009 — Vol. 25 No. 34

ISU Researchers garner Idaho Innovation Award

Joshua Pak
René Rodriguez

Idaho State University researchers René Rodriguez and Joshua Pak, who worked with Idaho National Laboratory researcher Robert Fox, were honored with an Idaho Innovation Awards “Early-Stage Innovation of the Year” for their work with precision nanoparticles.

The winners of the fourth annual Idaho Innovation Awards were announced earlier this month. The state’s only innovation awards program, the Idaho Innovation Awards are presented by Stoel Rives and Kickstand.

Rodriguez and Pak, both professors in the ISU Department of Chemistry, worked with Fox on developing precision nanoparticles, which are very small particles. The revolutionary technology these researchers created efficiently produces nanoparticles in uniform and precise sizes, which are being studied for use in alternative energy systems and variety of other applications. The precision nanoparticle technology has been licensed to Precision Nanoparticles, Inc., of Seattle. Precision Nanoparticles is a revolutionary and efficient nanoparticle production technology that is being developed to deliver uniform, prescribed nanoparticles (1-100 nanometers) using supercritical fluids.

This same project garnered an R&D 100 Award from the editors of R&D Magazine in July.

“This is a great example of how scientists from the Idaho National Laboratory and Idaho State University can work together to create a real impact in science,” Pak said.

The nominations were judged by a selection committee consisting of leaders from Idaho’s business and academic communities. Votes were tallied by accountants at Cooper Norman.

“The quality of the 2009 nominees made this year’s program extremely competitive and represents some of the state’s best leaders in innovative thinking and direction,” said Paul Boyd, Stoel Rives corporate attorney and 2009 Idaho Innovation Awards co-chairman. “It’s always encouraging, but particularly so during a slow economy, to be reminded that successful enterprises and innovative accomplishments are still pushing Idaho’s economy forward. This year’s winners are wonderful examples of the undeniable spirit of ingenuity found among Idaho businesses and its leaders.”

“The Idaho Innovation Awards program serves as a tremendous venue and opportunity for Idaho residents to receive statewide recognition for their innovative accomplishments," said Chris Volk, Kickstand immediate past-president and chairman and 2009 Idaho Innovation Awards co-chairman. “Kickstand is proud to be part of that effort and support the incredible innovation that is driving business in Idaho.”

The program is sponsored by the Idaho Business Review, Idaho Department of Commerce, Idaho National Laboratory and Oliver Russell. It also receives support from Cooper Norman, Idaho TechConnect, the Idaho Innovation Council and the Idaho Technology Council.