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Salt Lake City — The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) has been awarded the Expanding Research Capacity award at the 2013 State Science and Technology Institute’s (SSTI) Excellence in Technology Based Economic Development (TBED) national award program.
According to SSTI, six organizations were named winners of SSTI’s 2013 Excellence in TBED award, serving as national models for states and regions investing in science, technology and innovation to grow their economies and create high-paying jobs.
“This award really is an acknowledgment to the foresight and commitment of the state’s lawmakers and business community.” said Ted McAleer, executive director of USTAR.
USTAR is the sixth organization to win this award since the introduction of the awards program. Past winners include the Georgia Research Alliance, a program used to benchmark the USTAR program during its creation in 2006.
“In a short amount of time, USTAR has put in place the innovation capacity building blocks for a diversified knowledge economy,” McAleer said. “We are seeing some very exciting results and based on the pace of our commercialization efforts, I am confident about the future success.”
An example of the new technologies include Utah State University’s STORM (Sounding Tracking Observatory for Regional Meteorology) project. The first STORM sensor, set to launch in 2016 and currently being built in Logan, Utah, will soon sit across the Asia-Pacific region roughly 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface. The innovative sensors represent collaboration between USU, the Advanced Weather Systems Foundation (AWS), and industry partners GeoMetWatch and Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat).
Among the list of additional projects is Vaporsens, a University of Utah spinout company. Vaporsens offers a new device for the detection of explosives and narcotics and has been developed by USTAR researcher Ling Zane and has been funded in part by the Department of Homeland Security.
“Since its inception in 2006, USTAR has enhanced Utah’s research capacity by skillfully connecting private, public and higher education assets in the state,” said Dan Berglund, SSTI president & CEO. “Through USTAR’s efforts, the state has recruited numerous world-class researchers, increased R&D funding attraction and spurred economic growth.”