OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University has been selected as the site for a Technology Innovation Center that will support the Utah Science, Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative.
The new center, one of five planned throughout the state as part of USTAR’s Technology Outreach Program, will bring together local businesses and industry, government agencies and area educational institutions with the goal of sparking new business development, enhancing the climate for innovation, and stimulating the creation of more jobs. WSU’s Technology Innovation Center will serve Box Elder, Davis, Morgan and Weber counties, assisting entrepreneurs and local businesses that want to add new products to the marketplace.
University officials finalized the contract with the USTAR Board last week.
“This center is great news for Weber State and exciting news for the community because it will stimulate economic development opportunities in the region,” said WSU President Ann Millner. “The innovation center will connect the expertise of our faculty with the needs of local businesses, entrepreneurs and agencies interested in developing and launching new products. It’s a significant state investment in the economic future of this region.”
Strategically located at the intersection of Hill Air Force Base, Weber State University Davis and numerous high-tech and aerospace related businesses, WSU’s Technology Innovation Center will focus on supporting growth and economic development in these sectors.
Chris Millard, director of WSU’s Office of Sponsored Projects, anticipates the new center will generate even more faculty interest in pursuing research projects and collaborations.
University officials are working with USTAR to bring a senior administrator on board to direct WSU's center, which will have a presence on the university’s Ogden and Davis campuses. The center is expected to open March 1.
“The Technology Outreach Program is a critical component of the USTAR legislation,” said Ted McAleer, Executive Director of the USTAR Governing Authority. “The mission of the Technology Outreach Program will be to connect the state’s public research universities (University of Utah and Utah State University) to regional applied technology centers, colleges and universities; businesses; and entrepreneurs; and to promote and encourage local commercialization of discoveries and technologies emanating from the state’s research universities.”
An annual budget of $4 million will support five USTAR Technology Innovation Centers across the state. In addition to the northern Utah center at WSU, others are planned for Salt Lake City, Uintah Basin, Utah County and the Cedar City/St. George region.
USTAR is an innovative, far-reaching effort to bolster Utah’s economy with high-paying jobs. Utah already excels in research and development, bringing in more than $400 million each year in research grants. USTAR is intended to accelerate this research and development funding so that new products and services can be licensed and commercialized sooner. Conservative projections developed by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research suggest that over 30 years this investment will create 123,400 new jobs in Utah and generate $5 billion in new tax revenues for the state.
The USTAR initiative is being sponsored by the Utah Information Technology Association, Utah Life Science Association, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corp. of Utah.
For more information on USTAR, visit ustaredi.org.
Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.
Ann Millner, president
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Ted McAleer, Executive Director, USTAR Governing Authority
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