Administrators open technology development office

U President Michael Young established the Office of Technology Venture Development Thursday in an effort to attract new business, technology investments and jobs to Utah.

At the conference, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. commented on the impact research institutions like the U and Utah State have statewide.

“In 2003 alone, the University of Utah and Utah State University generated over 37,000 jobs,” he said. “That is remarkable and we need to further expand their efforts to achieve success.”

The office will create four new programs aimed at building new enterprises and jobs for Utahns, supporting existing businesses and to generate investments in new research while retaining and hiring faculty.

“The programs will give more opportunities to students and more opportunities to the faculty in developing ideas and getting them out onto the market place,” said Jack Brittain, future vice president of Tech Ventures.

Brittain believes students have the ability to create successful businesses. He gave examples of former U students like “Rebel Billionaire” winner and founder of LoveSac, Shawn Nelson.

“I want to broaden the opportunity students have so they can have more hands on learning,” he said. “I had a discussion with the dean of fine arts on developing programs to include students from other areas besides science and business and students should have that opportunity.”

Brittain said the U decided to hold the conference at Evans and Sutherland in Research Park because it is an example of a successful technological pioneer.

“Evans and Sutherland was started by two U professors: David Evans and Ivan Sutherland,” he said. “Now they are the top producers of flight simulators in the world.”

U President Michael Young said that as a flagship institution, the U has the capability of impacting economic success in Utah.

“We consider Utah’s flagship institution to be a state resource and an engine for economic growth and possibility,” he said. “Meaningful technologies evolve from university research and are leveraged to form start-up or spin-off businesses, stimulate employment, increase tax revenues and impact the overall economic health of the state.”

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