Inside Iowa State
Dec. 12, 1997
Report to regents: ISU goal is tech-literate students
by Tracy Griffin, News Service intern
The most important contribution Iowa State can make to technology transfer efforts is to educate students to be technologically literate when they enter the work force, ISU officials wrote in a report submitted to the State Board of Regents last month.
The report cites a number of ways in which students gain technological proficiency and outlines many "traditional" technology transfer and economic development endeavors undertaken by the university.
Following are examples of the university's technology transfer efforts and economic development activities.
- The Institute for Physical Research and Technology developed a new DNA sequencing system that can process genetic information 24 times faster than current sequencers. This new machine could help in the research of diseases such as AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer's and Down's Syndrome.
- In January 1997, a risk management program was given to 300 farmers, agricultural leaders and insurance representatives via the ICN. Extension representatives also traveled around the state presenting the latest risk management information.
- A survey of Iowa farmers conducted by a sociology faculty member will help farm-related organizations respond to the changing needs of farmers.
- Many new businesses were formed in 1997 due in part to ISU technological developments. The companies include Carbon Energy Technology (biomass gasification technology), Vista R & D (video hardware and software), Accumen (data storage), and Applied Academics (interactive veterinary training).
- The Center for Industrial Research and Service and some engineering faculty members helped a local company with operation and production problems raise shipping sales 24 percent and reduce inventory.
- ISU biology professors, Iowa community colleges and Iowa high schools have worked together to develop Project BIO, a program offering college biology courses over the World Wide Web. The program started with two courses and 29 students in fall 1996, and has six courses and more than 200 students this semester. Students include high school juniors and seniors, on-campus ISU students, high school and community college instructors and employees of science industries.
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