Boise State University and the University of Idaho have acquired high-tech gadgets that could boost the state’s incipient nanotechnology industry by attracting skilled workers who could eventually create their own companies, school officials say.
Boise State has a $610,000 super-fast burst, high-intensity laser designed to test and develop nanomaterials. Researchers at the University of Idaho are assembling a $710,000 advanced spectrometer intended for nanotechnology research.
“(Students will) be able to write their own ticket for any kind of academic or industrial job that involves spectrometry,” Scott Wood, dean of the College of Science at the University of Idaho, told the Idaho Business Review.
At Boise State, materials researchers are creating structures using nanotechnology that could eventually be used in cell phones and televisions.
Jay Larsen is president of the Idaho Technology Council, which is trying to grow Idaho’s tech industry. He said the instruments at the universities could help attract super-smart researchers and potentially increase the state’s knowledge-based economy.
He also said Boise State and the University of Idaho should consider how the nanotechnology research instruments could have commercial applications.
“Anything that they’re doing has to have a commercialization aspect, a very targeted strategy,” he said.
Researchers at the University of Idaho have that in mind.
“Helping the community to grow economically is important to the university,” said Dr. Jack McIver, UI vice president of research. “One of the missions of a land grant university is to help the public. We are working this area very hard.”
One spin-off company has already started, the Moscow-based GoNano founded in 2007. The company is developing Nanomaterial invented by UI researchers.
Information from: Idaho Business Review , http://idahobusinessreview.com/