|MATR Newsletter - Tue Mar 28, 2006|
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"The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office." -- Robert Frost
Montana Education Excellence
Developing a more Entrepreneurial Montana
- Paul Staso's Run Across America. Russell Elementary School Students in Missoula, Montana are ahead of pace in their "Run/Walk Across America" fitness challenge
Essentially, the 4th and 5th graders are virtually running and walking across the entire continental United States during this school year (September 7, 2005 through June 9, 2006). Weekly individual distances are calculated and totaled to advance each class forward on a predetermined 3,200-mile route across America. Our research has shown that no individual class has ever successfully completed a virtual trek across the entire United States during a single school year.
- Carroll students win in international engineering contest
The trio's success was "extraordinary," said Carroll math, engineering and computer science professor Kelly Cline. "It means we're doing some things right," Cline said. "To have a winner here in Helena, Montana, is just extraordinary."
- MAPS plays it S.A.F.E. ‘School to Work’ program, is teaching skills that translate into quality employment
Says Montana Governor, Brian Schweitzer, “MAPS offers a great supplement to arts education in our schools and gives those interested in film valuable experience in an industry where hands on training is vital. The training and experience Media Arts students receive will likely lead them into quality jobs in the future, whether in the film industry or not.”
- Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg supports State agribusiness entrepreneurial program
The program, Leading Entrepreneurial Agricultural Production for the Northern International Livestock Exposition, has a goal of better educating young entrepreneurs on the benefits and methods of market planning and business management.
- The Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs (MADE) Completes 3rd Successful Annual Seminar Series
On May 11, 2006 the University and Missoula community will have the opportunity to witness firsthand the impact of the MADE program on SOBA’s students. On that date the 17th Annual John Ruffatto Business Plan Competition will take place and many of the participants in the course have plans to submit the business plans that they’ve been working on since last fall.
- Montana State University Technology Center and Burns Technology Center paid $195K to lobbyist Roger Fleming of Dutko Worldwide since 2003
The relationship is legal although unusual. MSU already hires another firm to lobby on behalf of the university, and the Burns Center spends more for Fleming's services in a single year than some larger public universities spend on lobbying in total over two years.
- Universal preschool, universal benefits
The benefits of pre-K for children in all income groups is what drives today's supporters.
- Schools cut back subjects like social studies, science and art to push reading and math
A nationwide survey by a nonpartisan group that is to be made public on March 28 indicates that the practice, known as narrowing the curriculum, has become standard procedure in many communities.
- Report Offers Synthesis of Recommendations on Improving U.S. Math and Science Education
A new report by the Education Commission of the States summarizes the findings and recommendations of six recent reports identifying improved math and science education as the key to maintaining America's competitive edge in the global economy.
Montana Economic Development
- GCS Research Receives the ESRI Business Partner of the Year Award for 2006.
"GCS Research LLC—Consultant, Developer, VAR - GCS Research LLC is a recognized leader in geospatial information technology providing connected "smart" applications, innovative extensions, and extensible, integrated Web services and assisting its clients in achieving their objectives.
- NorthWestern Energy considering buying PPL power plants. PSC commissioner skeptical company has assets for deal
NorthWestern is looking at that possibility as one of many options to bring more stable energy prices to Montanans.
- Montana’s fuel future in biodiesel. Sustainable Systems of Missoula Leads the Way
Sustainable Systems, also based in Missoula, is completing renovations to its crushing and processing plant in Culbertson, located in northeastern Montana. Purchased from Montola Growers late last year, the facility could begin producing between 15 and 20 million gallons of seed-oil every year, once renovations are finished and farm contracts are signed.
- Well-oiled machine. Helena-based Montana Hydraulics captures the market on a variety of machining contracts
The firm is engaged in a variety of industrial machining activities, for both local and national clients.
Funding and Building your Business
- TV, movie workers rail against Montana film council
"The chairman of the body charged with reinvigorating the Montana film industry should not be part of the problem by actively producing films in Canada," said Maria Sanderson, a producer from Bozeman, who read a letter from the coalition. "A film advisory council is a good idea, but it must serve the people of the state and the professionals who rely on its responsible decision-making," Sanderson said.
- Montana Main Street Spring 2006 Newsletter
- Venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers makes pitch for green tech
``We will suffocate, and overrun, and pollute and poison our planet to death,'' he said of the rampant growth in population of major cities -- with eight cities the size of Manhattan being built every year, mainly in China, he noted. Companies should search for ways to reduce the vast amounts of energy consumed by cars, industrial pumps and other energy hogs.
- Big Blue paints itself green. "Global Innovation Outlook 2.0" now available
It is an investigation that invariably uncovers themes or patterns that transcend particular industries or interests. Ultimately, the GIO is an investigation of innovation that matters for us all.
- Here's an Idea: Let Everyone Have Ideas
Proposals become stocks, complete with ticker symbols, discussion lists and e-mail alerts. Employees buy or sell the stocks, and prices change to reflect the sentiments of the company's engineers, computer scientists and project managers — as well as its marketers, accountants and even the receptionist.
- Software Packages To Help Cut Your Taxes. Small business owners listen up.
When your business gets audited by the IRS, 70% to 80% of you will lose and owe more money, according to the IRS' latest statistics. (The definition of a small business is those with sales of under $5 million.)
- Key Move: Set Goals--For Everything
"If you can't clearly articulate your vision and your specific goals, how can you expect your people to put the pieces in the right spots?"
- The Problem With Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a creative problem-solving strategy
Regional Economic Development
- The Only Shortage in IT Hiring Is Common Sense
The fact that there's a shortage of IT workers and developers may come as a surprise to the tens of thousands of tech workers who have been laid off in recent years and now find themselves unemployed or underemployed.
- Defense contract may boost South Dakota tribe
The project to create the Advanced Electronics Rosebud Integration Center received $1.8 million in the defense spending bill President Bush signed Dec. 30.
- Money for small businesses on Indian reservations in three states OK'd
Rural Community Innovations sought the money on behalf of four American Indian groups. They are Aneth Community Development Corp., a Navajo organization in Utah; Four Bands Community Fund and the Lakota Fund, both in South Dakota; and Wind River Development Fund in Wyoming.
- Saylor's Soldiers. How to build a company that produces entrepreneurs and indirectly jobs for the region.
Successful regions can generally point to a handful of companies or research institutions that have spawned whole generations of new companies.
Washington State Business
- Future returns - Idaho reunited through 43rd Idaho Business Leader of the Year Honor Given to Duane B. Hagadone.
"We need more interaction between the north and the south (in Idaho). I'm embarrassed,"
- Server farms could be a cash crop in Washington State. Techs look at spud fields for growing needs
"Data centers like this are what contains the family jewels," Enderle said. "They're looking for low-cost real estate and stable sites in terms of weather and geographic activity. It means they've done some work and determined it's one of the least-expensive, safest places they can build."
Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)
- Michigan Bundles Computers and Services For Citizens
This is all about expanding access to the technology that citizens need in order to be successful in the 21st century marketplace," Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm said. "This program helps position Michigan for the new marketplace without expanding government spending."
University Business Plan Competitions
Incubators and R&D
- Cancer cure company wins University business plan challenge
"The exposure to the VCs here is the biggest benefit,"
Montana Education/Business Partnerships
- Montana State University builds name as University of the Yellowstone
In recent years, MSU received more than five times the number of National Science Foundation grants for Yellowstone studies than its nearest competition, Stanford and UCLA, according to David Roberts, head of MSU's ecology department.
- The Montana Department of Transportation funds six K-12 school systems that are either growing, or are planning to grow insectaries that will cultivate insects used to kill spotted knapweed.
Although this biological weed control method is not immediately effective, Williams does believe it will be incredibly sufficient in the long run. "This is a Johnny Appleseed story," William said. "We are planting shade trees for our grandchildren."
- Nine Questions Potential Employees Should Ask a Startup
What a hot candidate should ask a private, venture-backed startup before making the leap to “infinity and beyond” as Buzz Lightyear would say.
- In front of a computer all day? Exercise while you work
Hate going to the gym? Resent the time it takes to exercise after a hard day at the office?
- Glaciers vanish in before-and-after photos. Images show how Montana park’s ice has retreated over decades. Climate Data Hint at Irreversible Rise in Seas
Glacier National Park might soon need a new name.
- If Ethanol Is Dependent Upon Coal, Is It Green? Carbon cloud over a green fuel. An Iowa corn refinery, open since December, uses 300 tons of coal a day to make ethanol.
At least three other such refineries are being built in Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Would undermine the environmental reasoning for switching to ethanol in the first place, environmentalists say.
- Seattle to Kyoto: You can't get there by car
If the city really wants to cut greenhouse gases, it needs to spend millions more on transit, build more compact neighborhoods, encourage energy efficiency and use more fuels from plants rather than petroleum.
Connectivity & Communications
- Methanol: The New Hydrogen
Methanol, a clean-burning liquid, would require only minor modifications to existing engines and fuel-delivery infrastructure.
- Sprint Offshoot Tries Muni Wi-Fi. More and more incumbent broadband providers are accepting that citywide wireless networks are not going away.
"Don’t forget the reason muni wireless initiatives started," he writes. "Incumbents are highly profit-motivated, so large constituent groups were underserved or not served at all because they didn’t fit into providers’ profit analysis worksheets. When using profit-minded entities to help solve what are public service and public safety objectives, seek out those whose motivations are not at cross-purposes with your city."
- Now Legislators can Phone Home to Thousands of Constituents. Tele-Town Hall is poised to shape the future of political exchange.
A legislator who wants to communicate directly with constituents without managing the expense and planning of a physical town hall meeting.
- Island Wisdom, Coded in Java. "Trampoline" -fundamental principles on how people communicate
The program will integrate with a company's existing desktop and enterprise server applications, sitting quietly on a company's network and vacuuming in e-mail, files, spreadsheets and anything else it can find.
- Father of spam says he has no regrets
"It's like blaming the Wright brothers because United lost your baggage," quipped Thuerk.
- Hughes Looking At Rural Internet. Satellite Firm Sees Chance to Grow
Hughes officials say they see the company's future more tightly tied to providing Internet access, Web sites and other services to the estimated 10 million to 15 million households without access to a high-speed broadband connection.
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