Capitalizing on Innovation

Wednesday, October 28 2009

Written by Ken Kingery

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho is celebrating the accomplishments of several faculty, staff and students who – through developing innovative technologies – have furthered the university’s mission as a land-grant institution to improve the lives of Idahoans and Americans.

Faculty, staff and students will receive inaugural Innovation Awards on Friday, Nov. 6. They will be recognized during a public reception at 3 p.m. in the university's Student Union Building, and at a private evening celebration. The private dinner awards recognize those individuals who have moved technologies from their research labs into the marketplace or have been issued U. S. patents.

“These university members embody the spirit of leading and innovation that are hallmarks of the University of Idaho in its pursuit of new knowledge that is applied to help develop economies and society," said university President Duane Nellis. “The introduction and transfer of new ideas to the marketplace will help bring the university – and the state of Idaho – through these difficult economic times to a stronger future.”

The technologies licensed during the last two fiscal years through the university’s Office of Technology Transfer cover a wide assortment of fields, ranging from agriculture to nuclear energy. The technology creators, licensing company and brief description of the technology being recognized are as follows:

  • Chien Wai/AREVA NP Inc. – Technology designed to recover enriched uranium from the ashes of incinerated low-level nuclear waste.
  • Ken Cain/ImmumoPrecise Antibodies Ltd. – An antibody for screening salmon and trout broodstock for the aquatic pathogen Flavobacterium psychrophilum, which causes Bacterial Cold-Water Disease and Rainbow Trout Fry Syndrome.
  • Harriet Shaklee/Twiga Foundation – BLOCK Fest, a program designed to help parents support the development of pre-math and science skills through block play for children ages eight months to eight years.
  • Donald Crawford/Natural Industries – The use of Streptomyces bacteria to protect the root system of plants and create a healthy growing environment within soil. The microorganism breaks down dead plant tissues and frees up soil from harmful thatch accumulation.
  • Keun Seok Seo/Veterinary Medical Research and Development Inc. – FOXP3 Monoclonal Antibodies that detect FOXP3 regulatory T cells in cattle, which are involved in the regulation of the immune response. Also LND41A Monoclonal Antibodies that identify activated dendritic cells, which tells scientists if an immune response is beginning in cattle.
  • Jeff Stark/Potato Variety Management Institute – A84180-8, a potato variety released in 2007, is a late maturing, medium-russet with good culinary quality. Compared to the Russet Burbank, it has good resistance to internal and external defects, has a high vitamin C content, is more resistant to common scab and Verticillium wilt, and is less susceptible to soft rot and potato leaf roll virus.
  • Terry Quinn, Darren Owsley, Clifford Clark/Genesis Distributing, LLC – A Web-based secure access management program that reduces time, money, and headaches for granting and denying access to doors in multi-building managed complexes.
  • Ron Crawford, Terry Soule, Tom Hess/BioXcelerator Technologies, LLC – An optimization software program that is used in combination with reiterative, parallel experimentation to optimize industrial processes and outputs.
  • Monte Boisen/University of Texas at Tyler - The Polya Math Center's video collection was licensed to help math teachers in rural east Texas upgrade their skill and understanding of mathematic principles and techniques.

Alumnus Russell Strong will be presented with The Outstanding Alumni Innovator Award for the innovative approaches he has pursued in his business ventures since graduating from the college of engineering in 1976. Strong is the CEO of Integrated Vision Inc. and 3D Agile Inc., and styled the merged Ford, New Holland and FIAT tractor lines in a worldwide contract. Currently, he is revolutionizing the world of the military foot soldier by developing a 3,000 pound carrier of a 2,000 pound payload that provides new opportunities and agility in military applications.

Strong will give a presentation entitled “Mining for Innovation” at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, in the Student Union Building’s Gold Room. The talk will be immediately followed by the 3:00 p.m. reception in the Appaloosa Lounge.

In addition, the University of Idaho also will recognize individuals who have completed steps along the process to patenting a technology. These recognitions include 64 disclosures of discovery and 11 patent applications from July 2007 through June 2009.

“The Office of Technology Transfer and the university want to encourage others to begin thinking about applying their discoveries in ways to directly benefit society by creating commercial products and services,” said Gene Merrell, associate vice president for research and chief technology transfer officer. “By recognizing those who have paved the way, we hope to inspire others to follow their lead.”

The public reception from 3-5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, is in the Student Union Building’s Appaloosa Lounge, 709 Deakin Ave. in Moscow. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit

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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit  

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit