OGDEN -- Weber State University has proven to be a great matchmaker when it comes to the business of pairing professors with industry, according to USTAR.
The Utah Science, Technology and Research initiative, a partnership among the state of Utah, state universities and private businesses, distributes money from federal grants that help university professors work with private business to create new products or product innovations that, in turn, bring money and jobs to Utah.
The largest portion of the grant money goes to the University of Utah and Utah State University. But among the other regional colleges vying for remaining grant funds, Weber State has earned more than any other Utah university competing.
"Weber State has been successful at identifying industry partners that can benefit from university collaboration," said Ted McAleer, USTAR executive director, who spoke to WSU officials, business leaders and lawmakers Tuesday morning at the school.
"Weber State also identifies who those faculty members are that should be collaborating, who can get the job done. We are excited to see how Weber State has embraced the vision," McAleer said.
Among Weber State's 19 Technology Commercialization Grant USTAR projects -- 14 of which include industry partnerships -- are:
* Respia, a low-sodium fluid and dispenser to reduce the incidence of ventilator-associated infection among intensive care patients, including newborns. Commonly used high-sodium fluid can hamper the ability of a baby's throat to fight off infection.
* Laser peening of landing gear, a laser treatment to strengthen the steel parts used in airplane landing gear
* A wireless aviation headset, to increase pilot mobility and comfort.
* Low-drag wheels, which are bicycle wheels with the lowest aerodynamic drag among current industry offerings.
* A rapidly deployable aerial surveillance system, a hand-deployed mini helicopter system with built-in video.
* Paint in a new paint formula that offers improved resistance to abrasion and sunlight, water and abrasion.
* HotSpot, a wireless energy sensor technology to help owners of commercial buildings save energy while improving user comfort and control.
* IRIS Connect, a remote teacher-coaching platform composed of a camera with wireless microphones and Web-based software.
* The Hovercraft Autonomous Target Vehicle, a disposable, low-cost hovercraft that eliminates the need for using expensive vehicles in jet fighter target training.
Through the USTAR program, professors have acted on their own business ideas or have applied their research and development skills to create or refine products for others, McAleer said.
He said that for each USTAR dollar spent by Utah universities, the return has been two to three dollars added to the Utah economy.
F. Ann Millner, Weber State University president, said she believes strongly that Weber State faculty members' expertise can enhance business enterprises in the area.
"We have the capability to provide the expertise and support they need."