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WSU Economic Impact News

WSU Clean Technologies Preview: CleanTech Showcase 2016

This academic year held several cleantech milestones for WSU – from winning the CleanTech Achievement award in November to breaking ground on the PACCAR Environmental Technology building in May. This month, Washington’s cleantech industry can get a glimpse into the innovation driving those milestones by attending the third annual CleanTech Showcase. Several faculty will present their research and commercialization activities in alternative fuel, sustainable design, and advanced materials – three of WSU’s major cleantech strengths.

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Counter Bias Training Simulation reaches officers with gap fund support

In September, nearly 600 police executives, managers, trainers, and officers will observe the launch of Counter Bias Training Simulation developed at WSU, thanks in part to the Commercialization Gap Fund.

“Without the gap fund, we would not be able to get our interactive training into the hands of the police officers who will benefit,” said Lois James, the researcher who developed the training.

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Cross-state collaboration fosters student entrepreneurship

Engage student startup with prototype of their product, SafeShot
Engage student startup with prototype of their product, SafeShot

For two students who did not think much of entrepreneurship a year ago, Emily Willard and Katherine Brandenstein have been making quite a splash in Washington’s biotech startup space.

Their company – Engage – started as a senior design class assignment and evolved into a full time job that they will pursue after graduation.
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Phytelligence growing Portland operations

News update from the Phytelligence website

WSU spinout Phytelligence, a platform agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced the transfer of all tissue culture activity from their Pullman location to their newly-opened Portland lab.

Due to faster than anticipated throughput and lower costs at the Portland facility, the decision was made to invest in growing the Portland location sooner than originally anticipated, and change the focus of the Pullman lab exclusively to genetic analysis, repository services, and research for the discovery of new products and technology.

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WSU Spinout Partners with Grower to Develop New Cherry Varieties

By David Eddy // Growing Produce

Phytelligence, a platform agricultural biotechnology company, has entered into a service agreement with TNV, LLC, a Tip Top Orchards licensed company, to aid in the development and growth of new and desirable cherry varieties.

They will be utilizing Phytelligence’s genetic analysis capabilities, its genetic repository services, and its proprietary plant multiplication and growth processes.

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Startup Spotlight: Protium Innovations

Screenshot 2016-04-28 13.45.53Protium Innovations, LLC

Researchers: Jacob Leachman, Patrick Adam, Ian Richardson, Elijah Shoemake

Launched: 2015

Problem: Our dependence on oil and the pollution created by burning fossil fuels has prompted a tremendous amount of research and development of alternative fuel options. Liquified hydrogen – which can be used in fuel cells to power electric car and aircraft – is one of the cleanest alternative fuel options that can also be produced in the U.S. from a variety of sources. Current methods to liquefy hydrogen are difficult and costly, however, keeping this promising alternative fuel source from widespread adoption.

Solution: Members from Protium Innovations pioneered several foundational technologies while at WSU that will enable renewable producers to increase the value of their energy and to create a new market for selling their excess capacity. » More …

Student interns help small business exporting

Guest Post from Hope Tinney with the Small Business Development Centers

Torklift International, an industry leader in after-market upgrades and accessories for truck campers, caravans and other recreational vehicles, has been selling its made-in-Washington products to camping enthusiasts around the world for decades.

For the most part, though, international customers were going online or working through an authorized dealer to buy tow bars, hitches, turnbuckles, truss extensions, tie-downs and other hardware, which meant the single-item shipping costs were high and the delivery time could be weeks, if not months.

With a relatively large and growing customer base in Australia, the family-run, Kent-based company started wondering if the customer demand could support a distribution center Down Under. » More …