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(Boise). The Higher Education Research Council (HERC) of the State Board of Education has awarded funds through the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) initiative to three projects at the state’s research universities.

The three winning proposals were selected by a review committee comprised of business and industry and higher education representatives.

Boise State University will receive $700,000 to enhance its Computer Science program to help meet compelling state economic development, research and workforce needs. “Boise State is investing the IGEM funding into its computer science program to address the needs of Idaho industries by increasing its number of graduates in software development," said Mark Rudin, Boise State vice president for research and economic development. "The university recognizes its essential role in supporting our high-tech industry. New faculty members will result in more computer science research, stronger business ties and more students in the pipeline for technology careers."

Idaho State University was awarded $670,700 for development of commercially-viable, accelerator-produced materials for medical and semiconductor industry applications. “The IGEM proposals funded by HERC are a major step forward in creating a constructive partnership among Idaho’s research universities and the state’s private sector,” said Richard T. Jacobsen, Director of research and technology transfer at ISU. “As high quality successful university research is transitioned to new opportunities for economic development, all parties involved are winners. The best research becomes the basis for new medical processes and devices, new ways of producing and utilizing energy, cyber-infrastructure and other products and processes to improve lives in Idaho. The potential is far-reaching!”

University of Idaho will use its award of $640,200 for a Multidisciplinary Cyber-Security Faculty Cluster Hire. The grant will fund new faculty to support cyber-security research and education in computer science, electrical and computer engineering, civil engineering and sociology. “Cyber-security of large scale systems such as the power grid and transportation system is of concern to Idaho, the nation and world,” said Jack McIver, University of Idaho vice president for research and economic development. “This award will expand the capabilities of the Center for Secure and Dependable Systems in the College of Engineering. This will allow the University of Idaho to better serve the research needs of the public and private sector in Idaho and the region and provide students trained in this area.” The vision of IGEM is to leverage private-industry guidance and the talent and expertise of Idaho’s research universities to commercialize innovative and viable technologies that will strengthen Idaho’s economy. The 2012 Idaho Legislature appropriated $2 million through the IGEM initiative for research funding for Idaho’s universities.

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