August 1, 2011

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Energy Development in Utah

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Alex Lawrence

Jenni Smith




Industry Outlook

Utah Business Staff

August 1, 2011

In Silicon Valley, with the money that’s being dumped into these startups, they do pay top dollar. Where a lot of what we have in Utah is entrepreneurial, the pay level is not there. And so one of the stereotypes I run into all the time is Utah is not known for paying well. It’s very, very challenging.

Give a short example of what’s going on in your organization that is on the leading edge of innovation.

TURLEY: Technology went from a very centralized model to a very decentralized model. The capacity for a Utah company to be the center of a global hub is very great because technology can now be decentralized. We can now have remote offices. But having the business core here in Utah is a great thing. I see virtualization, taking things that used to have to sit in your office here in Salt Lake that can now be hosted in Virginia or overseas or multiple locations.

KARANJIKAR: We work on a number of clean technology solutions. One technology is separation of oxygen from nitrogen. Ceramatec has changed that game significantly with the help of Air Products & Chemicals, a large Fortune 100 company from Pennsylvania. So what we have done with APCI is promoted a brand-new technology that would change the industry to the point that Utah will basically be put on the global map. The Department of Energy invested about $77 million in setting up a plant. And the wow really was the Governor’s Office of Economic Development was very instrumental in getting them to Utah. They had their choices on a number of East Coast locations.

WEISS: Molecular medicine. Most people describe it as personalized medicine. The idea that you can use either your own genetics or the genetics of your tumor—assuming we’re talking about oncology—to help direct targeted therapy.

We are at the verge of a whole new paradigm in medicine based upon the results of the human genome project. It took 13 years and $3 billion to sequence that first human genome. In the next two to five years, we’ll be able to do that in hours, if not days, at a cost of under a thousand dollars.

We sort of have to park the huge Pandora’s Box of ethical, socioeconomic issues that you associate with genetics and your DNA, but there’s a growing consumer demand for being able to have your own DNA sequence so that you can use it for a variety of purposes.

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