Idaho Office of Science & Technology October 2005
In this issue:
# NanoSteel Gets First Funding
# Idaho Companies Receiving SBIR Grant Wins
# Idaho Universities, AREVA, INL Join Forces on Nuclear Engineers Program
# Micron Technology Expands Singapore Facility
# DocuTech Releases Mortgage Regulatory Updates
# WGI First Certified For Cargo Screening
# UI Chemist Finds Better Way to Create Methanol from Natural Gas
# BusinessWeek Looking For Talented Young Entrepreneurs
# INL Creates New Shotgun
# Boise Cascade Subsidiary Creates Secure Paper
# Wisconsin Firm Buys Idaho Company Technology
# Boise Firm to Fulfill Locomotive Contract
# Qwest Foundation Gives $25,000 for Rural Idaho Fund
# BSU Engineering College Receives "Million Dollar Baby"
# UI-Idaho Falls Interim Dean Appointed
# Grant Deadline Approaches for Independent Innovators
# UI Student Takes First Prize at INRA Symposium
# Guest Column
NanoSteel Gets First Funding
(Idaho Falls, Idaho) NanoSteel, a nanotech startup firm that makes steel super light and strong, has received funding from EnerTech Capital Partners, a Pennsylvania-based venture capital firm.
MILCOM Technologies, a Florida company, also invested in NanoSteel, which was created from spin-off technology from the Idaho National Laboratory in 2002.
NanoSteel’s technology is used in everything from golf clubs to landing gear in the aerospace industry. Future applications could include work in the automobile industry.
Idaho Companies Receiving SBIR Grant Wins
(Statewide) Five Idaho companies have already been notified this year they will receive Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grants.
The grants are awarded to companies to develop a prototype product in specific research areas, and vary in amount from approximately $250,000 to nearly $1 million. Phase I awards, a proof-of-concept phase, are typically under $100,000.
Eleven federal agencies participate and fund the SBIR program, which provides about $2 billion a year toward research, development and commercialization.
Phase II awards so far this year have gone to:
– TenXsys Inc., of Eagle, for $296,000 from the USDA;
– Unicep Packaging, Inc., of Sandpoint, for $296,000, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture;
– Positron Systems, Inc., of Pocatello, for $446,385, from the National Science Foundation;
– Visual Genesis, of Boise, for $276,270, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture;
– American Semiconductor, of Boise, for $600,000, from NASA (2004 award, just announced this month)
Several federal agencies have not yet reported their SBIR grant recipients for 2005.
The Idaho Office of Science & Technology assists Idaho companies in seeking SBIR grants. For information, contact Jeff Viano at (208) 334-2650 ext. 2118, or go online to technology.idaho.gov.
Idaho Universities, AREVA, INL Join Forces on Nuclear Engineers Program
(Statewide) A private company, Idaho’s three universities and the Idaho National Laboratory are taking an innovative approach to address the expected shortage of nuclear engineers nationwide with a new Bachelor of Science offering called the "2 + 2 Scholars Program."
AREVA Inc., the U.S. leader in providing nuclear energy technology and solutions, is providing $250,000 over the next five years to pay for scholarships and other expenses for students attending Idaho’s three state universities who are interested in becoming nuclear engineers. Students can complete their first two years toward a nuclear engineering degree at Idaho State University, Boise State University or the University of Idaho, before finishing the final two years of nuclear engineering undergraduate study at ISU in either Pocatello or Idaho Falls. Participants will also receive practical experience and instruction at the Idaho National Laboratory.
Micron Technology Expands Singapore Facility
(Boise, Idaho) Micron Technology, Inc., based in Boise, opened its $250 million 264,778-square-foot expansion of its test and assembly facility in Singapore.
The plant, 40 percent bigger, houses state-of-the-art equipment for assembling and testing a wide range of high-density, high-speed memory components and modules.
Nearly 3,000 employees work at the Singapore Micron facility.
Micron’s presence in Singapore also includes a sales and marketing office for all Micron memory products in the Asia-Pacific region and a joint venture interest in fab operations at TECH Semiconductor.
Micron and its subsidiaries have about 19,000 employees world-wide with manufacturing facilities located in Italy, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States.
DocuTech Releases Mortgage Regulatory Updates
(Idaho Falls, Idaho) DocuTech Corp. of Idaho Falls has released the latest regulatory updates for the mortgage industry on its "Lender Advocate" Web site.
The firm provides compliance services and documentation technology for the mortgage industry. Its free Web site is the first – and only – one-stop Internet resource with an accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive list of all pending legislation impacting the mortgage industry.
Last year, the Lender Advocate Web site was named "Web Site of the Year" by Mortgage Technology magazine.
The site enables visitors to view the most current information available about proposed laws, which, if passed, can significantly affect a lender’s day-to-day business. Access to the Web site requires no registration or industry affiliation.
WGI First Certified for Cargo Screening
(Boise, Idaho) Washington Group International, an engineering, construction and management-solutions company, has been certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide anti-terrorism services for cargo container facilities at U.S. ports.
This is the first such certification for cargo container operations at ports.
The company will use proven techniques to analyze terrorist threats, including potential dirty bombs or chemical weapons attacks, at ports, mass transit systems and other critical infrastructure.
The firm, based in Boise, has about 25,000 employees worldwide.
UI Chemist Finds Better Way to Create Methanol from Natural Gas
(Moscow, Idaho) University of Idaho chemist Gus Davico may lead the way for liquid methanol to become a realistic alternative to petroleum.
Davico, along with student researchers working in his lab, has identified a better way to convert methane from natural gas to methanol. The discovery could lead to safer, less expensive alternatives to transport natural gas to consumer centers and to provide feedstock for the chemical industry.
Currently, metal-based catalysts, such as platinum are used. Davico says these elements are extremely expensive. Also, the reaction uses more energy than his iodine-based method since it takes place at a very high temperature and degrades the environment since the metal, which contaminates the product, is distributed into the atmosphere when the methanol is used.
Prior work by scientists in California and the Netherlands had identified iodine as a possible catalyst for the reaction. But the equipment to test iodine as a catalyst did not exist.
Davico and his students spent nearly four years and $250,000 in grants to design and build the equipment where the reaction could occur and be studied in detail.
Davico’s work has been published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry and Chemical and Engineering News, the news magazine of the American Chemical Society.
BusinessWeek Looking For Talented Young Entrepreneurs
(Nation) BusinessWeek Online is searching for the country’s most talented entrepreneurs under 25.
The publication is seeking those people running their own, fully operational companies.
Nominations can be submitted online at http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/under25.htm?campaign_id=rss_smlbz
INL Creates New Shotgun
(Idaho Falls, Idaho) Engineers at the Idaho National Laboratory have created the Breaching Shotgun, made to assist police and military officers to use a single gun to break down doors and detain suspects during hostage situations or drug raids.
The new firearm is a rifle and shotgun all in one, and can be used to blast through a door and fire like a rifle at the same time. It currently takes at least two officers to knock down a door and enter a room.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Applied Technology Program asked the INL to create the weapon after the department held a competitive bidding process.
DOE funded the project, and engineers in INL’s National and Homeland Security Division worked for nearly two years to create the weapon and test it. The laboratory has five patents pending for its design.
Meridian, Idaho company ProSWAT expects to start producing the weapon soon and to begin selling it by the end of this year or early next year.
ProSWAT is currently working with INL on other weapon development projects.
Boise Cascade Subsidiary Creates Secure Paper
(Boise, Idaho) A new security paper has been created by Boise Cascade subsidiary Boise White Paper LLC. The paper protects against document fraud and identity theft with a hidden word that appears on reproductions each time the security paper is copied, faxed, or scanned.
The "Beware" Security Paper features a hidden word technology developed by Document Security Systems, Inc. that shows up only when the paper is reproduced.
Two versions of the security paper are available exclusively at OfficeMax stores nationwide, including one for legal documents such as wills and certificates of authenticity that will feature the word "Copy." A second business version can be used for documents such as coupons, gift certificate and rebate offers, and will feature the words "Unauthorized Copy."
Wisconsin Firm Buys Idaho Company Technology
(Boise, Idaho) Computrol of Boise has sold two of its outdoor recreational brands and assets to Johnson Outdoors Inc. of Racine, Wis.
The firm sold Cannon downriggers and Bottomline fishfinders to the Wisconsin company, which will incorporate the brands into its existing Marine Electronics Group business.
Cannon is the No. 1 brand of downriggers used on motorized boats for controlled depth fishing. Bottomline is a brand of fishfinders which includes the popular portable, battery-operated "Fishin’ Buddy" series.
Boise Firm to Fulfill Locomotive Contract
(Boise, Idaho) A locomotive contract potentially worth $217 million will be fulfilled by MotivePower of Boise, a subsidiary of Wabtec Corp.
The contract is to build 27 new commuter locomotives for GO Transit in Ontario, Canada, and work will begin in the first half of 2006.
The streamlined locomotives will have significant technological improvements compared to GO Transit’s current fleet, including higher- horsepower engines to increase acceleration, greater fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and microprocessor controls. They will also meet new crashworthiness and safety standards set by the American Public Transportation Association.
GO Transit, officially named the Greater Toronto Transit Authority, is Canada’s first and Ontario’s only interregional public transit system. It links the city of Toronto with the surrounding area and carries 45 million passengers per year by train and bus.
Qwest Foundation Gives $25,000 for Rural Idaho Fund
(Statewide) The Qwest Foundation has given the Idaho Rural Partnership $25,000 for a Fund for Rural Idaho that will support a variety of community development and leadership training efforts.
"Qwest’s incredibly generous gift is truly an investment in rural Idaho," said Roger B. Madsen, Idaho Commerce & Labor director and co-chairman of the Idaho Rural Partnership. "The Partnership’s ability to provide leadership training and community reviews throughout the state is greatly enhanced because of the Qwest Foundation."
The Fund for Rural Idaho is managed by the Idaho Community Foundation as a philanthropic gift fund. Donations to the fund are tax deductible.
Qwest is a member of the new Idaho Rural Business Development Council. The council serves as the private business advisory group to the Idaho Rural Partnership. The Idaho Rural Business Council consists of the Idaho Wheat Commission, Monsanto, Idaho Farm Bureau and Qwest. The newly formed group is actively seeking members and donors to the Fund for Rural Idaho.
BSU Engineering College Receives "Million Dollar Baby"
(Boise, Idaho) A grant for a new scientific instrument, nicknamed the "Million Dollar Baby," has been awarded to Boise State University by the National Science Foundation. The analytical transmission electron microscope will benefit research in materials science, electrical engineering, computer engineering, physics, biology, chemistry and geosciences.
A transmission electron microscope produces images by detecting electrons that are transmitted through a sample by a powerful electron beam. It is used to study the structure of materials such as metals, ceramics, magnetic materials, polymers, and biological and chemical substances at nearly atomic resolution.
At Boise State, the instrument will be used for studies of magnetic materials that could lead to the development of sensor devices to improve combustion in engines and reduce pollution, or to developing positioning devices for microsurgery.
The new instrument will also be used by Boise State researchers who are developing portable sensors, studying the structure of cartilage, developing ways to improve data storage technology and the reliability of memory chips, and conducting research in other areas.
UI-Idaho Falls Interim Dean Appointed
(Idaho Falls) The University of Idaho has appointed Robert Smith interim dean at the school’s Idaho Falls campus. An industry expert for over 23 years, Smith has been a distinguished professor of subsurface science in UI’s department of biological and agricultural engineering since 2001.
Smith will play a key role in developing the university’s research and educational focus with the Center for Advanced Energy Studies in partnership with Idaho State University and Boise State University.
Smith has been a senior scientist with the Idaho National Laboratory for 15 years, and previously worked with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on the Basalt Waste Isolation Project in Richland, Wash. His research focuses on U.S. Department of Energy subsurface science environmental and energy issues.
Grant Deadline Approaches for Independent Innovators
(Nation) Time is running out for participation in the U.S. Department of Energy Inventions and Innovation Grant Program, which offers $50,000 to $250,000 for independent inventors and small businesses with energy-saving ideas.
The deadline for applications is Jan. 31, 2006, but a pre-application deadline is Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. mountain time. It is important to participate in the pre-application process.
To participate in the pre-application process, go online to e-center.doe.gov. To learn more about the grant program, go to eere.energy.gov/inventions.
UI Student Takes First Prize at INRA Symposium
(Moscow, Idaho) Anna Zawadzka, a research student in microbiology, molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of Idaho, was awarded first place in a contest at the recent Inland Northwest Research Alliance Environmental Subsurface Science Symposium.
Her project about a bacterially produced compound that binds with metals has potential for bioremediation, said the judges.
Research students entered 30 posters from the eight INRA universities – Boise State, Idaho State, Montana State, Utah State and Washington State universities, and the universities of Alaska Fairbanks, Idaho and Montana.
INRA is a non-profit scientific and educational organization created to promote new opportunities for research and education that benefits the technical disciplines. INRA fosters multi-disciplinary research and education programs, collaborative projects with federal laboratories and other partners to add to the region’s economies. It works with the Idaho National Laboratory in the environmental and subsurface sciences.
(Idaho Falls, Idaho) This guest column has been provided by Donald B. Engelman, general manager of AREVA, in Idaho Falls. To submit a column for consideration, please contact Julie Howard, [email protected].
"AREVA is the leading nuclear energy vendor and a key player in the distribution and transmission of electricity in the U.S. AREVA operates in 40 locations in 20 states including Idaho. AREVA employs about 8,000 people and provides services and products to the 103 operating commercial reactors in the U.S.
AREVA is currently providing products and services in Idaho through its subsidiaries Framatome ANP, COGEMA, Canberra and AREVA T&D, all of which are working at INL on projects as diverse as nuclear fuel evaluation to site characterization to performing analysis on energy management system software. Additionally, AREVA is providing services to Bonneville Power Authority, Idaho Power, and Power Engineers in the transmission and distribution areas and providing analytical instruments, systems and services for radiation detection and monitoring to corporations and agencies located throughout Idaho.
On the commercial nuclear front, AREVA recently announced a joint enterprise, UniStar Nuclear, with Constellation Energy to provide the business framework through which the first fleet of advanced nuclear power plants in the U.S. in nearly three decades could be developed and deployed. UniStar will market a standard advanced design called the U.S. EPR, a 1,600-megawatt model based on AREVA’s advanced nuclear power plant now being built in Finland.
We at AREVA are excited about the resurgence of nuclear energy in the U.S. and endorsed Idaho National Laboratory (INL) as the Center for Nuclear Excellence, with a focus on research for the next generation of nuclear reactor and fuel cycle technologies. AREVA is an integral part of the Generation IV reactor development, providing expertise to develop advanced nuclear energy systems that are safe, reliable, economic and proliferation resistant – requirements of DOE’s vision for the program.
AREVA is contributing $250,000 to support universities in Idaho and the development of the workforce of the future and is sponsoring over $1 million of work at the INL in 2005.
AREVA is in the forefront of addressing one of the 21st century’s greatest challenges: making energy available to all, protecting the planet, and acting responsibly towards future generations. The great state of Idaho and the INL are a vital part of that vision by leading the research and development of advanced reactors and advocating nuclear energy as a safe, viable solution to our future energy needs."
(Donald B. Engelman can be contacted at: AREVA, 620 South Woodruff. Idaho Falls, ID 83401)
Read More Idaho Technology News
Miss last month’s Science & Technology newsletter? Find the complete newsletter archives at technology.idaho.gov and click on "news."
Have an Idea/Submission for this Newsletter?
Contact Julie Howard at the Idaho Commerce & Labor’s Office of Science & Technology at (208) 334-2650, ext. 2147, or at [email protected]
2005 Events Calendar
Idaho Manufacturing & Innovation Conference
Idaho’s second annual manufacturing conference is produced by TechHelp. Keynote speaker Ken Schmidt, of Harley Davidson, will be featured. Cost is $250; $35 for keynote luncheon only.
Register at http://www.techhelp.org, or call Melissa Jensen at (208) 426-3767.
Hong Kong Business Luncheon
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office/Invest Hong Kong in cooperation with Idaho Commerce & Labor will host a luncheon and seminar for businesses and organizations interested in doing business in Hong Kong. Contact: Stephanie Camarillo at (208) 334-2470
China Coal & Mining Expo
Idaho Commerce & Labor, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Boise Export Assistance Center, will lead a delegation of Idaho companies to participate in the China Coal and Mining Expo. The event showcases state-of-the-art above and below ground mining technologies. Contact: Damien Bard at (208) 334-2470.
Legislative Biotechnology Task Force
Legislative task force meets to discuss potential legislation affecting the biotechnology industry in Idaho. For information and minutes from previous meetings, go to legislature.idaho.gov.
Biotech Investing Conference
Hear from venture capitalists, corporate investors, private and public biotech companies providing market intelligence. Information is at ibfconferences.com.
For more calendar information, visit Conferences and Events at cl.idaho.gov
"We Create Jobs, Strengthen Communities and Market Idaho."
IDAHO COMMERCE & LABOR
PO Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0093
Tel: 208-334-2470; Fax: 208-334-2631
DIRK KEMPTHORNE, GOVERNOR
ROGER B. MADSEN, DIRECTOR
KARL TUELLER, DEPUTY DIRECTOR & OST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Idaho Commerce & Labor is an equal opportunity employer.
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