USTAR Conversations aim to tackle some of the biggest questions for the next generation of star researchers.In our first conversation, we’ll cover the ways in which the USTAR program benefits residents of Cache Valley, students of Utah State University and the state of Utah by recruiting top faculty to develop game-changing technologies. USTAR research will continue to lead the way as an economic development engine for the state of Utah—an investment that will lead to more high-paying jobs in technical fields for Utahns.”Our USTAR story at USU is full of fascinating innovations,” said vice president for Commercialization and Regional Development, Robert T Behunin. “Programs at USU range from hyperspectral sounders in space to spider silk proteins harvested from the milk of goats, and from electric roadways to next generation occupancy sensors.””These programs are possible because of the Utah legislature’s forward-thinking to establish the USTAR initiative in 2006. We’d like to share these stories of success with our community,” said Behunin.Opportunities for hands-on learning and one-on-one conversations with representatives from USTAR-funded research teams—the Institute for Intuitive Buildings, Wireless Power Transfer team and the Space Weather Center—will be available.The Institute for Intuitive Buildings has created a next-generation sensor that accurately detects occupancy and changes to ambient light, which can lead to savings of 50% in commercial buildings. (View video here).Engineers in the USU Energy Dynamics Laboratory have developed a Wireless Power Transfer technology that will be used to electrify a mass transit route in Salt Lake City. USU spin-out company, WAVE, Inc, has received a $2.7 million federal grant from the Federal Transit Authority to install a full-scale demonstration. (View a clip from KSL news here).The USTAR-funded Space Weather Center will debut their Space Weather app—available for the iPhone and iPad. The Space Weather Center at USU was instrumental in establishing communication during the earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan in April 2010. (Read more about disaster relief here).USTAR Conversations are quarterly discussions sponsored by the USTAR Executive Committee and the Vice President for Commercialization and Regional Development at USU.This event is free and all ages are welcome. Refreshments will be provided.The Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) is a long-term, state-funded investment to strengthen Utah’s “knowledge economy” and generate high-paying jobs. Funded in March 2006 by the State Legislature, USTAR is based on three program areas. The first area involves funding for strategic investments at the University of Utah and Utah State University to recruit world-class researchers. The second area is to build state-of-the-art interdisciplinary facilities at these institutions for the innovation teams. The third program area involves teams that work with companies and entrepreneurs across the State to promote science, innovation, and commercialization activities. For more information, go to http://ustar.usu.edu or follow USTAR on Twitter at http://twitter.com/USU_USTAR.
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