ISU, NuMat, Inc., EJ Proprietary Property Company receive $700K IGEM grant for the development of specialized crystal materials

POCATELLO – Idaho State University and partners NuMat, Inc. and EJ Proprietary Property Company have received a $700,000 grant from the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM).

The grant was awarded through the Idaho State Board of Education’s Higher Education Research Council to purchase specialized equipment to use in the development, characterization and fabrication of crystal materials for use in academic, industrial and government settings.

IGEM’s mission is to create new enterprises and high-paying, knowledge-based economy jobs by increasing strategic areas of research and development through targeted partnerships among industry, higher education and government that leverage new and existing resources.

Eric Burgett with the type of crystal being studied at the RISE Complex.

Eric Burgett with the type of crystal being studied at the RISE Complex.

Once installed in the ISU Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering (RISE) Complex in Pocatello, ISU will use the equipment to conduct research, funded by NuMat, which will lead to the development of advanced technologies and the creation of jobs.

“This award is big news for NuMat. The funding will provide us with access to specialized equipment that we can use for the development and commercialization of specialized crystals that will grow our business and bring jobs to Pocatello,” said NuMat President Joe Nause. “With this grant Idaho State University will also have increased capabilities for conducting leading-edge R and D on exciting applications of these specialized materials. Using these tools, we look forward to quickly bringing new technologies to market and to growing our presence in Pocatello.”

ISU officials expressed their satisfaction with the agreement.

“This award is evidence of the growing partnership between Idaho State University, NuMat and EJ Proprietary Property Company that will improve our capabilities and support sponsored research that will benefit our students and the City of Pocatello, as well as each of our partners,” said Cornelis Van der Schyf, ISU vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School.

Eric Burgett, director of the RISE Complex and ISU associate professor, said he was excited about being part of the winning proposal.

“This will add to the capabilities at RISE and will allow us to really move out on developing specialized crystal materials and their associated applications,” Burgett said. “This brings us one step closer to being able to create exciting technologies that can positively impact people’s lives.”

Jeff Short, president of EJ Proprietary Property Company (EJPP), said that Burgett’s work at the RISE Complex captured his company’s attention because of the new technologies being developed that have the potential to become marketable.

“Idaho’s award of the IGEM grant to ISU shows the same confidence that EJPP has in the viability of Dr. Burgett’s technology reaching higher commercial readiness levels,” Short said. “EJPP is finalizing agreements with ISU to push this technology through its final levels to become a marketable product. We sincerely appreciate the efforts of ISU President Vailas and his staff for providing EJPP this opportunity to participate in making a new technology a viable, job-producing reality.”

On June 1, NuMat, Inc. formally announced that it had reached an agreement with ISU to conduct joint research and development centered at RISE Complex, with the goal of commercializing advanced technologies. The two parties signed a Technology Development and Licensing Agreement to work together to conduct research and development in a variety of technical areas at the RISE Complex, including: advanced manufacturing, medical isotope production and materials science.

The Higher Education Research Council (HERC) was formed in fall 1998 as a result of the Idaho State Board of Education’s interest in promoting basic and applied research at Idaho’s public, four-year institutions. Funding under this program is awarded for competitive state university research in support of the goals of the IGEM initiative. These funds are to be used as seed funding for strengthening Idaho’s future by strategically investing in the development of expertise, products and services, which result in state economic growth.