Changing the Way the University of Idaho Does Business

Monday, October 3 2011


By Donna Emert

POST FALLS, Idaho – In keeping with the its land-grant mission to share its discoveries and research findings in support of Idaho’s economic development, the University of Idaho is introducing a robust support mechanism for private sector research and development and technology transfer.

A newly established not-for-profit entity, the Laboratory for Applied Science Research – LASR – at the University of Idaho Research Park in Post Falls, will enable corporate research and development projects. LASR provides ready access to university experts and infrastructure for commercial partners of all sizes.

Idaho businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs and inventors are invited to explore the benefits of university-private sector partnerships at the Research Park open house from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Jacklin Science and Technology Center, 721 Lochsa St., Post Falls. This flagship research and incubator facility is named for the Jacklin family, Research Park benefactors. The event is free of charge.

The open house will provide information about university intellectual and technological assets, and how businesses can access them. The event is presented in partnership with University of Idaho and the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce, and will be hosted by Charles Buck, University of Idaho associate vice president and center executive officer for northern Idaho.

The Research Park facility features clean-room capability, established wet and dry laboratory space, a computer training lab, conference rooms and training rooms. These specialized spaces for high tech research and commercial office space are available for use by existing and start-up Idaho businesses.

The University of Idaho Research Park was established to connect private sector enterprise with university research and technology development and to promote transfer of university technologies to companies.

The 30,455 square-foot Jacklin Center currently houses several technology-focused companies as well as university biomolecular detection research projects. The center has accommodated software development, micro- and nano-computer processor research and product development, and biomolecular detection research.

“The Jacklin Science and Technology Center is a real gem for our region,” said Buck. “This built-for-purpose technology incubator makes available multiple high-end laboratory and office suites for start-up technology companies, and for any company that may benefit from interaction with the expertise and infrastructure of the University of Idaho. Working closely with community partners, such as the Post Falls Chamber, our goal is to identify and grow new companies and to recruit existing companies that can benefit from the capabilities of the Jacklin Center and the university.”

“The goal of the center is to create a dynamic environment that draws innovators, entrepreneurs and investors to launch and develop commercial ventures,” Buck added. “These companies will provide high paying jobs and will contribute to an environment that ‘feeds itself’ in supporting and promoting additional start-up activity.”

The university’s Research Park facility has been in operation for nearly a decade and hosts several successful enterprises, including: Quest Integration, an engineering and manufacturing solution provider; Sentry Dynamics, Inc., specializing in Web-based services that incorporate Geographic Information Systems; TechConnect North, a statewide network providing planning, finance, and licensing assistance for start-ups; TechHelp, providing training and information to Idaho manufacturers, processors and inventors; United States Geological Survey (USGS); an Idaho Water Science Center office focusing on groundwater drainages; and American Wagyu Association, a beef cattle breed registry incorporating genetic data information systems.

LASR is currently housed in the Jacklin Science and Technology Center. LASR is a not-for-profit entity affiliated with the University of Idaho. It was created to address corporate research and development projects that are applied as well as timeline and milestone driven. Through a contractual relationship with the University of Idaho, LASR can draw on the large range of expertise available at the University.

Ednetics, Inc., a leading provider of information technology solutions for educational and governmental organizations in the Northwest, moved from the facility earlier this year to a custom built corporate headquarters adjacent to the Center.

The value of unprecedented access to university resources offered through the LASR is recognized by the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce.

“The Chamber supports small business and entrepreneurs and is excited about this new direction that the University is taking,” said Pam Houser, president and CEO of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce. “Innovative technology along with collaboration between the Small Business Development Center and Jobs Plus can only benefit Northern Idaho, so we look forward to the success of the program and are confident it will bring new jobs to our area.”

In addition to the Oct. 6 open house, a business development forum will be held at the Jacklin Science and Technology Center at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Oct.19. The forum will highlight technologies from the Idaho National Laboratory and the University of Idaho. The event is sponsored by the INL, University of Idaho, Idaho TechConnect, Jobs Plus and the UIRP. The event also is free of charge.

For more information on the business development forum, contact Marilyn.Whitney@inl.gov.

Check out LASR's website: http://www.uidaho.edu/lasr
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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, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.