West Virginia’s bioscience industry has grown 6.9 percent since 2007, according to a new study released by Battelle and the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
The report “Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014” found the state’s bioscience industry employed nearly 6,400 people at 343 different businesses in 2012, an increase of 6.9 percent since 2007.
“This is great news that reflects the growing culture of innovation and entrepreneurism in our state, as well as the increased focus on bio-related research and development by our research universities, like West Virginia University and Marshall University, among others,” said Bryan Brown, executive director of the West Virginia Bioscience Association.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. Sally Hodder, M.D., professor of Medicine at Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School, has been named director and principal investigator (PI) of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI).
“Dr. Sally Hodder is exactly the right person to lead West Virginia’s largest research collaborative,” said Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., chancellor forWest Virginia University Health Sciences and president and CEO of the West Virginia United Health System. “She’s an accomplished physician who has shown that she can improve the lives of patients through the integration of research and healthcare. We expect her to put that experience to work for people and communities across West Virginia.”
Both the University and the System have committed millions of dollars to support WVCTSI.
Dr. Hodder currently serves as the director for HIV Programs in the Department of Medicine and director of the Clinical Research Unit at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Hodder was selected following a national search and is expected to begin her new role in September. An interdisciplinary search committee made up of representatives from across the WVCTSI partner institutes (WVU, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and WVU-Charleston/Charleston Area Medical Center Institute), led by WVCTSI Interim Director Glenn H. Dillon, Ph.D., chose Hodder to fill the post.
For years, diabetics have been using a tiny drop of blood from a finger prick to accurately detect blood sugar glucose levels. Now a team of researchers at West Virginia University is working to develop a similar device to diagnose two very different types of problems: traumatic brain injury and heavy metals in water supplies.
Nianqiang Wu, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Yuxin Liu, an assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, have teamed up to create the strips. Both have extensive experience in the development of nano-scale devices with applications in healthcare and environmental monitoring.
Six West Virginia University professors will explore complex shale gas issues ranging from the potential impacts on heart health, water resources, the chemical industry, and policy development not only in West Virginia but also around the world.
Each professor won a $10,000 research grant from WVU’s National Research Center for Coal and Energy and Office of Research as part of their newly launched WVU Shale Gas Network.
Research projects include improving the safety and efficiency of shale gas exploration and production, developing new methods to use shale gas in chemical manufacturing, studying the potential impact of shale gas production on cardiovascular health and researching the development of shale gas in other countries.
The City of Franklin, TN has creatively combined promotional advertising, city pride, and community unity (with the help of some clutch licensing deals) to inform the world about the city’s enthusiasm and capabilities through song—thanks to its happy residents and employees.
PITTSBURGH, PA On May 15th in Southpointe, PA, during the 3rd Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest the following four companies each walked away with a winner’s check for $25,000:
KCF Technologies, Inc. – SmartDiagnostics® wireless system that enables low cost predictive maintenance for rotating O&G Equipment
NG Innovations, Inc. – “C-FIT” unit identifies the density and amount of fluid being transported and identifies the loading/unloading points, tracking and date/time stamping truck movement via satellite
OPTIMUM Pumping Technology – High-performance manifolds for reciprocating NG compressors that eliminates pulsation control bottles and their vibration-related failures, and significantly improving compressor reliability and operating efficiency
TM Industrial Supply- Filtration technology to effectively separate for removal the NGL’s and other contaminates from natural gas through the use of their Gas Flow Membrane Technology
Bill Hall, SGICC Director commented, “We were very pleased with the quality of this year’s applications. Reducing from over 80 entries to the 13 finalists was an arduous task. The judges did a fantastic job analyzing all of the applications. The four winners are all impressive examples of innovation on display. These companies identified a challenge the shale energy industry faces and developed impressive solutions ready to be implemented.”
Glen Chatfield, President of Optimum Pumping Technology noted, “We’ve been on a long journey to bring our product to market, and this award is so exciting for us! The competition is so stiff, and to be named a winner in this contest lets the industry know that we have developed a product that they need to investigate. The interactions we’ve had with the Shale Gas Innovation Center have been great, and as a Ben Franklin funded company through Innovation Works here in Pittsburgh, I can personally attest to the value of the Ben Franklin organization to entrepreneurs across the state of Pennsylvania.”
Joe Frantz, Vice President of Engineering for Range Resources-Appalachia was one of the judges at this year finals event. He noted, “I’ve worked with SGICC since its inception, and I really enjoyed the engagement in the Innovation Contest this year. Their process used to uncover innovations is a real value for the industry.”
Dante Bonaquist, Senior Corporate Fellow, R&D at Praxair, a sponsor company and judge noted, “Through the Shale Gas Innovation Contest, SGICC brings together a broad range of promising ideas covering production, transportation and utilization. From the technology scouting perspective, there is no better opportunity to see high caliber shale gas related innovations on display at a single event.”
To view a list of all 13 Finalists with technology descriptions and the full press release with quotes from all four winners go to: http://www.sgicc.org/shale-gas-innovation-contest.html.
With a goal of providing smarter defense capabilities to the “boots on the ground,” West Virginia University has created the Center for Smart Defense to align innovations in academia and the commercial marketplace with defense needs.
“We are excited about the opportunity to connect leading researchers at West Virginia University with our partner institutions in academia and industry to meet the critical needs of the people ensuring our nation’s security,” said WVU President Gordon Gee.
The center, announced Thursday, will be led by former Department of Defense and defense industry senior executive Adam “Jay” Harrison.
“We will be building a smart defense consortium,” Harrison said. “What we’re doing at WVU is unique. Our focus is not necessarily to develop solutions from scratch, but to develop a community of stakeholders centered around WVU with the aim of efficiently applying existing commercial and academic innovations to defense.”
In an effort to bolster and promote entrepreneurship at the local level, the West Virginia University BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has partnered with two other major state organizations.
The Café Morgantown at the Market entrepreneurship event will take place on May 3 at the Morgantown Market Place, 400 Spruce Street, in Morgantown. The event will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. following the Morgantown Farmers’ Market.
The purpose of Café Morgantown is to provide small (micro) awards to local entrepreneurs. Participating entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and attendees vote for their favorite project. The selected entrepreneurs will give five-minute presentations about their projects, after which the audience may ask questions. After all five presentations and all questions have been answered, the audience will vote to select a winner.
The WVU Research Office is accepting nominations and submissions for the 2014 Innovation Awards. Eligible applicants may self-nominate or nominate a fellow colleague or student. Submissions are accepted now through the end of business on Monday, June 2, 2014.
The four awards are:
Early Career Innovator Award
Established Innovator Award
Presidential Innovation Service Award
Student Innovator Award [A new category!]
The Early Career Innovator, Established Innovator, and Presidential Innovation Service Awards are open to current administrators, tenure and non-tenure track faculty, and staff employed by WVU and its affiliates. The Student Innovator Award is open to current undergraduate and graduate students (May 2014 graduates are not eligible). All awards are based on innovative pursuits and/or accomplishments that have occurred within the past five years. For team projects, a single individual may choose to apply on behalf of a team.Learn more about the awards requirements and how to submit the material.
Also, “Save the Date” for the Second Annual Innovation Awards Ceremony, Monday, September 22, 2014, featuring Wes Bush, CEO of Northrop Grumman as keynote speaker!
For any questions, please contact Lindsay Emery at Lindsay.Emery@mail.wvu.edu.
By Brianna Pethtel
The article Expanding Roles for Research Universities in Regional Economic Development by Mary Lindenstein Walshok breaks down the key ways that universities can close the research gap between the types of research performed and the goal to achieve more diversity. The gap can be addressed by expanding the focus of a university’s research, a university’s contribution to other researchers outside the local area, and understanding that university based research can have significant impact in many ways.
Research universities in every geographical area, both domestically and internationally, have three main areas of knowledge: scientific, humanistic, and social scientific. These three central areas allow research universities to not only explore the full range of knowledge development, but also activities and programs essential to the process. While research universities recognize their responsibility within these three central areas, there is still a gap since universities may get comfortable and not explore other types of research. Universities are composed of researchers from all areas and universities must take the responsibility to explore the other areas such as liberal arts, to create the bridge needed for meaningful economic development.
The research performed by universities has focused mainly on the interdependencies of research, capital, business services, and public policy for the growth of the region. Those specific regions are known as technolopolises. Research universities must recognize the importance of reaching out to not only other technologolise areas, but to smaller areas as well. This will create contacts and help to further close the research gap. Research universities also need to recognize that other research universities are international. Examples of technolopolises both domestic and international are:
- Silicon Valley- California
- Route 128- Massachusetts
- Research Triangle- North Carolina
- Silicon Glen and Cambridge- United Kingdom
One thing research universities forget is that their research can be utilized regardless of the university’s size. For example, small universities may not have a lot of networking opportunities, but they can organize community forums and leadership briefings to introduce new ideas and opportunities to their community, for an impact both locally and nationally. Larger universities already have many connections with other researchers and can promote their research through existing networking and community forums, but they do not necessarily serve as an essential part of their research promotion. Furthermore, research universities must realize they fill in knowledge gaps that can greatly impact the community and regions beyond their local borders. Some examples include:
- Economic and social research allows a region to find holes in the industrial base, as well as in infrastructure, geographic, and service capabilities;
- Basic and applied research activities create new product development;
- Use of technology transfer and commercialization initiatives with basic research have a greater chance of turning ideas into products;
- Engagement may involve more than patenting and licensing services, such as: technical assistance, access to business service providers, and connections to sources of capital;
- Workforce assessments allow universities to partner with industries that are specific for development and builds skills needed to be economically competitive; and
- Organization of new and interdisciplinary knowledge for problem solving and capacity building allows for new and emerging fields of practice.
Since the roles for research universities have been expanding, it is important to remember that for successful development in the different types of research, as a faculty researcher, one must go beyond the perceived areas of study and work with others in order to close the research gap.
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