December 6, 2013

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Northern Utah Area

December 6, 2013

USU Breaks Ground on Bioproducts Scale-Up Facility

Logan – UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY broke ground on a new building called the Bioproducts Scale-Up Facility. This facility seeks to maximize the research-to-commercialization potential of UTAH SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH (USTAR) professor Randy Lewis’s work on the creation of synthetic spider silk.

The 70,000-square-foot facility will house large fermentation equipment, allowing researchers to take the next step in producing large volumes of spider silk protein. The building is the result of the work currently being done by USU’s USTAR faculty and students in the Synthetic Biomanufacturing Institute.

Spider silk is stronger than Kevlar, more elastic than Nylon and has thermal conductivity properties comparable to copper. Applications for spider silk vary from fibers like strings, ropes and tire treads to medical scaffolding, coatings, sealants and 3D printing, liquid gels and cosmetics.

ARAKNITEK, INC., a USU spin-off company, was created to commercialize products that emerge from scientific investigations of synthetic spider silk proteins.

 “The company has already secured licenses to a broad portfolio of intellectual property based on and related to synthetic spider silk technology. We look forward to seeing their growth,” says Robert Behunin, Utah State’s vice president for advancement and commercialization.

In its initial business development efforts, Araknitek will provide bulk quantities of synthetic spider silk protein and access to proprietary production processes to its customers with licenses to make and sell market specific materials, devices or goods.


Ogden – OGDEN’S OWN DISTILLERY released two new vodka flavors: Five Wives Sinful and Five Wives Heavenly. The company also announced plans to move to 3075 Grant Ave., a location that will include a retail shop.

Logan – The BON-TON STORES, INC. signed a lease with ROUSE PROPERTIES, INC. to open a HERBERGER’S STORE at CACHE VALLEY MALL. The company expects to finish remodeling the 62,000-square-foot facility in the second half of 2014.

Ogden – ESURANCE announced plans to open a new customer service office in Ogden, which is expected to employ up to 700 people by 2016. The office is planned to open in the second quarter of 2014.

Logan – CACHE VALLEY HOSPITAL received the 2013 HealthInsight Quality Award for demonstrating high-quality healthcare and excellence in performance on publicly reported quality of care and patients’ perception of care measures.

Riverdale – AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION introduced The Dot, a mobile credit card payment device that allows businesses to accept payments with their mobile devices.

Kaysville – BILLIONGRAVES partnered with MYHERITAGE to expand its records to reach more than a billion individuals in nearly 23 million family trees on MyHeritage’s website.

Brigham City – COOL ANGLE was awarded a Best New Products of the Year award at the 2013 International Roofing Expo in San Antonio, Texas.

Layton – The DAVIS CONFERENCE CENTER hosted the Utah Anime Banzai Convention for the fourth straight year, with an estimated 4,000 attendees.

Logan – The YOUNG AUTOMOTIVE GROUP purchased ENSIGN HONDA TOYOTA. The dealership will now be known as YOUNG TOYOTA HONDA.

Farmington – PLURALSIGHT leased 30,000 square feet of office space at STATION PARK. The company plans to move into the space during the first quarter of 2014.

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