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Boise State Researchers, Engineers and Industry Execs Come Together

By: Brady W Moore   Published 3:13 pm / March 17, 2017

More than 50 electrical and computer engineering (ECE) researchers, industry executives and engineers from around the Treasure Valley gathered at Boise State last week for the ECE Industry Forum 2017. Designed to foster collaboration with local industry, the forum featured research presentations and a networking reception which sparked the beginning of several new strategic partnerships between university researchers and industry innovators.

Photo of attendees from ECE Industry Forum 2017.

ECE Industry Forum 2017.

Focused on transforming the Idaho Microfabrication Laboratory into a critical resource for research and development for organizations across Idaho, this year’s ECE Industry Forum represented the first step in creating partnerships which will provide the local tech community with the support and service needed to take their products to the next level.

Vice President for Research and Economic Development Mark Rudin attended last week’s event and noted that the “ECE Industry Forum was incredibly successful. The focus was to foster collaboration between university researchers and business experts, and we did that,” said Rudin. “These partnerships are critical to bringing viable technologies to market and growing our local economy. We expect to see more of these kinds of collaborative university-industry events in the future. “

Thanks to funds provided by the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission, Boise State’s electrical and computer engineering department was able to invest in the expansion of the Idaho Microfabrication Laboratory, enhancing equipment and expertise in the emerging research areas of flexible/printed electronics, thin-film and 2D materials, and neuromorphic computing. Equipped to fabricate microelectronic devices using various thin film deposition techniques, chemical processing, photolithography, and plasma etching, the newly updated IML is a shared recharge center accessible to industry partners, government agencies, university affiliates and entrepreneurs.

The Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission is a unique program that invests public funds into university research initiatives with the potential to foster local economic development opportunities. In fall 2015, the IGEM program awarded a three-year grant worth $1.5 million to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Boise State University. Designed to create partnerships that pair private sector experts with research professionals to bring commercially viable technologies to market, the IGEM initiative is creating new products, companies and high-value jobs, while increasing the research capacity of Idaho’s universities in strategic areas.