Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Aquarists to hold first meeting in Carbondale Wednesday

The Southern: http://www.thesouthern.com/news/local/article_12b67fec-5152-11df-8225-001cc4c002e0.html

BY TIM CROSBY, For The Southern | Posted: Monday, April 26, 2010 11:37 am

CARBONDALE - Fishery experts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are forming an outreach group aimed at assisting and encouraging fish businesses and hobbyists.

The Southern Illinois Aquarists Association will hold its first meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, in the John C. Guyon Auditorium at Morris Library. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature guest speaker Kevin Kohen, director of marine aquaculture at liveaquaria.com.

James Garvey, director of the Fisheries & Illinois Aquaculture Center at SIUC, said the organization's initial focus would involve the ornamental fish industry, which procures, breeds, distributes and sells fish commonly found in aquariums.

"A typical ornamental fish is a gold fish," Garvey said. "We're talking about fish that are a little bit harder to take care of or breed in captivity, but that have a distinctive price advantage to produce."

An example of such a fish -- a discus fish -- inhabits an aquarium in Garvey's office. The fish, a flat, circular fish with colorful markings, was produced at Rocky Mountain Discus in southern Indiana. Garvey said such fish sell for $40 to $70 each, depending on their breed.

Garvey said businesses that supply ornamental fish hold strong economic promise, if owners are well trained and responsible.

"We want to promote the industry but at the same time educate consumers about the way in which fish like these are procured," Garvey said. "We want to promote wise conservation and make it possible for hobbyists to consider that when the make their purchases."

In too many cases currently, some fish suppliers capture ornamental fish in the wild, depleting populations. The SIAA will work with suppliers to promote responsible procurement and breeding methods, while helping hobbyists understand the entire system and make informed choices. They also want to educate hobbyists about the consequences of re-releasing ornamental varieties in local waterways, where their presence could damage the ecosystem.

"Right now, the aquarist hobby is huge and it seems to be growing," Garvey said. "We look at promoting it because it's a gateway to getting people more interested in general fishery issues, such as fish farming, which we want to promote. We want to help people reconnect with the wild and look at fishing as an interactive hobby."

Another big potential business the association will support involves cultivating live coral, which brings a pretty penny on the hobbyist market, as well, Garvey said.

Brian Small, associate professor of animal science, food and nutrition at SIUC, a fish endocrinologist, also will be heavily involved in the association and will serve as valuable resource on captive breeding methods, Garvey said.

The association also will work with existing local fish farmers and those who are interested in starting a fish farm, providing information and expert support, Garvey said. He also hopes the association will provide outreach for students who want to someday help

Friday, April 9, 2010

‘Operation Mousetrap’ is all about innovation


CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Operation Mousetrap isn’t about finding a better way to capture a furry rodent; rather, it focuses on ways to help commercialize the research and innovation technologies developed by Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty and staff.

The inaugural sessions of the entrepreneurial technology transfer program draw to a close this week with nine special presentations highlighting a small fraction of the technology, research and innovation that exists at SIUC. Participants will demonstrate their projects, offering PowerPoint presentations and discussing their business plans while honing their “pitches” for funding.
Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the Operation Mousetrap entrepreneurial technology transfer program presentations set for Friday, April 9, in Room 241 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center. Presentations begin at 12:30 p.m. with graduation set for 2:30 p.m. John Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and graduate dean, will present certificates of achievement to participants completing the program.

Since early 2010, participants have been meeting each week to hear a variety of experts discuss topics of interest. They’ve learned about testing their innovations and business concepts, exploring entrepreneurship, identifying funding and working with investors, protecting their business and intellectual property, planning for financial success and much more. Curt Jones, founder and CEO of Dippin’ Dots and an alumus of SIUC, spoke about defining a target market. Jack Goecken, founder of MCI, addressed entering and capturing the market. Participants also heard about testing their business concepts from Curtis Baird, chairman of the board of the School Center in Carbondale.

“In addition to the weekly training and speakers, participants have been meeting with their business coaches to further develop their business plans and investor pitches. This one-on-one assistance gives each faculty or staff member the opportunity to focus on the stage of business development that is most important and applicable to them at this time,” said Kyle Harfst, director of technology and enterprise development at SIUC.

Harfst and Maryon King, director of the College of Business Center for Innovation and associate professor of marketing, both served as business coaches for Operation Mousetrap participants. Operation Mousetrap uses FastTrac TechVenture, an entrepreneurship and business program provided by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The foundation fosters entrepreneurship through such programs all over the U.S., giving people the tools they need to develop or hone their skills to better utilize and market technology.

Essentially, the program works with technology and life science researchers and developers in bringing their innovations from the concept stage to the marketplace. There is an emphasis on intellectual property and some of those participating in the current program are already seeking patents for their work. The participants received scholarships, valued at about $1,500, to be part of the program.

Harfst’s desire to establish an entrepreneurship program for faculty and staff researchers and scientists at the University led Lynn Andersen Lindberg, director of business innovation and research, to approach Mark Petrilli. Petrilli, state director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center, was enthusiastic about the concept and provided partial funding for the inaugural session, according to Andersen Lindberg. The University’s Technology Transfer staff helped identify faculty and staff who had technologies that were ready to take the next step toward commercialization and they received invitations to the program.

Partnering to provide the SIUC program are the College of Business Center for Innovation, Illinois Small Business Development Center, Small Business Incubator Program and the Southern Illinois Research Park.

Operation Mousetrap participants successfully completing the intensive 12 sessions will get certificates of achievement on Friday, April 9, from John Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and graduate dean. The graduates are eligible for three months of free rent at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center through the Small Business Incubator Program and can also apply for $5,000 to $10,000 in challenge grant funds from the Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center.

The ultimate goal of the program is increasing the number of technology-based companies emerging from SIUC research and locating in Southern Illinois, Andersen Lindberg said.

“The program has been so successful that plans are already under way for the second Operation Mousetrap program, set to begin in August,” said Andersen Lindberg. “In addition, the program staff will continue to work with this first group of participants to assist them in the next phases of their entrepreneurial tech transfer activities. We’ll be offering them business coaching, follow-up workshops and seminars throughout the year.”

Participants in the inaugural Operation Mousetrap include:

• Ken Anderson, professor, geology.

• Bakul Dave, associate professor, chemistry and biochemistry.

• Peter Fadde, associate professor, curriculum and instruction.

• Thad Heckman, assistant instructor, architecture school.

• Yuqing Hou, assistant scientist, graduate school.

• David Lightfoot, professor, plant, soil and agricultural systems.

• Sebastian Loh, assistant professor, curriculum and instruction.

• Luke Tolley, associate professor, chemistry and biochemistry.

• Tom Upton, associate professor, Rehabilitation Institute.

"Operation Bootstrap" Orientation Saturday


Carbondale, Ill. -

Round four of the popular and successful Operation Bootstrap, a training program from the Southern Illinois University Carbondale entrepreneurship team, is kicking off soon.

The program is open to aspiring and new business owners in the southern 16 counties of Illinois. Already 102 graduates from the first three classes are reaping the benefits of the business-training program. The SIUC Office of Economic and Regional Development’s Entrepreneurship and Business Development Unit and the Delta Regional Authority provide the training for “Operation Bootstrap: Seeding Southern Illinois Start-ups” to unemployed or underemployed low- and moderate-income residents in the Illinois Delta counties.

A new class session will begin in June. However, all who are interested in the intensive, 12-session program must attend an orientation session, which provides information about how the program works and all of the requirements.

Here’s the schedule for the orientation sessions:

• Saturday, April 10, 1-2 p.m., Du Quoin City Hall, 302 E. Poplar St.

• Tuesday, April 13, 4:30-5:30 p.m., SIUC Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road, Carbondale.

• Wednesday, April 21, 2:30-3:30 p.m., SIUC Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road, Carbondale. The Illinois Small Business Development Center is sponsoring a free workshop, “Finding Financing,” that will immediately follow this training session and participants are welcome to attend.

“SIU is so proud to be able to offer this training again. Our successes tell the Operation Bootstrap story best. Take a look at our Web site, www.operationbootstrap.biz, and see the results. These new business owners are hard working, inspired and determined to make a living for themselves and make a difference in Southern Illinois. With very little start-up costs, these entrepreneurs are bootstrapping their way into successful business ventures,” said Robyn Laur Russell, director of business development and international trade at SIUC.

It gives them all of the tools to help them start their own business or formalize a business they already have. The program is beneficial to entrepreneurs of all kinds, whether they are starting a small downtown business or planning a high-growth, global operation. There’s no cost to participate.

And, in addition to gaining vital information and assistance, graduates of the program are also eligible to compete for monies to help them start their new businesses. Those completing the program and developing individual business plans will vie for competitive grant awards of up $3,000. As many as 15 participants could earn funds to help them launch their businesses and create new jobs in Southern Illinois.

Operation Bootstrap 4 kicks off June 19 with an intensive “blast class” incorporating the first four sessions. Classes continue the next eight weeks running from 3-6 p.m. each Wednesday. The class meets at the Man-Tra-Con Family Opportunity Center in Du Quoin.

For more information about Operation Bootstrap or the SIUC Office of Economic and Regional Development, call 618/453-2070 or e-mail startbiz@siu.edu.

Monday, April 5, 2010

FutureGen and Economics

Note: This post was meant for the SIUC Energy Tech Blog, but I'll leave it here in case anyone's linking to it.

Recent news: Peabody Energy Acquires Equity Interest in Calera Corporation

The Calera Corporation Technology captures emissions from coal- or gas-fired fuel plants and converts them into green building materials. Another byproduct is fresh water.

FutureGen is seemingly becoming more of a reality as more companies join the roster and more research funding is pumped into the related technologies.

What will the impact be on our region if FutureGen is implemented? In case you missed it, Dr. Ira Altman from SIUC Department of Agribusiness Economics wrote a report entitled
FutureGen: The Economic Impacts of Clean Coal for Illinois

Ira Altman, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Agribusiness Economics
College of Agricultural Sciences
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
June 2007
Link to the full report (pdf).

Table of Contents:
Table of Contents
Summary 3
Introduction 4
Study Area Description 4
Results and Analysis 10
Economic Impacts of Facility Operations – Statewide 11
Economic Impacts of Construction – Statewide 11
Economic Impacts of Facility Operations – Two County Model 12
Appendix A Input-Output Analysis and IMPLAN 14
Appendix B Output Impact- Two County Model 16
Appendix C Output Impact State Model- Facility Operation 23
Appendix D Output Impact State Model- Facility Construction 30

This research concludes that the economic impact of locating a coal gasification and carbon sequestration project in either Coles County or Douglas County would result in significant positive economic activity for the state of Illinois and the local economy.

Impact results are calculated using the IMPLAN Professional Version 2.0® for two models: a state level model and a two county model. Report highlights include the following impacts from the operation of a coal gasification facility:

---A $135 million increase in statewide economic output from facility operation
---A $34 million increase in statewide labor income from facility operation
---A $91 million increase in statewide value added from facility operation
---An $11 million increase in tax revenue from facility operation
---An increase of 510 jobs in Illinois from facility operation
---A $258 million increase in statewide economic output from construction
---A $116 million increase in statewide labor income from construction
---An increase of 2,525 jobs in Illinois from construction
---A $85 million increase in local economic output
---A $19.98 million increase in income for local labor
---A $59 million increase in local value added
---A $8.1 million increase in taxes and
---An increase of 360 new jobs to the local area.

Dr. Altman is interested in doing additional research more focused on the impact of Illinois coal from FutureGen.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

SIUC team wins fourth in global innovation contest

Saluki Times, March 31, 2010
By Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill -- A team of Southern Illinois University Carbondale researchers, students and entrepreneurs brought home a top prize in a national technology innovation contest.

The team won fourth place at the Global Venture Challenge 2010, a contest based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The SIUC team was one of just 22 finalists from five countries competing for cash prizes at the contest, aimed at finding innovative ideas from graduate students to address the world’s needs for energy and security.

The team pitched the so-called “nanoscopic electronic nose,” a device in which tiny nano-scale wires stand in for the biological smell detector cells present in a mammal’s nose. Because of their tiny size and chemical reactivity, nanowires can detect extremely small concentrations of chemicals in the parts-per-billion range. Sensors based on this technology also are extremely stable and power efficient.

When assembled in arrays of sensors and coordinated by software, such sensors can form a sort of electronic nose that can send detailed information about the environment. Applications might include very small, power-efficient sensors that can send doctors real-time information about a patient’s blood glucose level, for example, or lead to improved radio frequency identification tags -- often used in the retail sales industry, but with many other potential applications -- that can sniff the air for explosives or other chemicals.

The team presenting the device included Andrei Kolmakov, assistant professor in the Department of Physics; Victor Sysoev, a former visiting Fulbright Scholar from Saratov State Technical University in Russia; physics doctoral student Evgheni Stlecov; Renee Favreau, a senior in marketing; Jenni Janssen, assistant director of the SIUC Center for Innovation; Gina Montgomery, a senior in industrial design; and Maryon King, associate professor of marketing. Read More...