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Ed Yeates ReportingCombined research at two major Utah universities this year has pumped revenues back into the state of nearly a half billion dollars, and the two schools are forming a unique research partnership designed to generate even more revenue.
The figures are huge. The University of Utah alone crossed the 300 million dollar threshold this past year. And Utah State University hit 186 million dollars.
The Governor says that, combined with even more incoming research revenues, is why it's time the two flagship institutions form a partnership. President Kermit Hall and President-Designate Michael Young say they couldn't agree more.
Kermit Hall, President, Utah State University: “You could not want two institutions that are more compatible to build this kind of capital for the state of Utah.”
Engineering for the space program, research on anti-viral drugs to fight emerging diseases like West Nile, genetic breakthroughs, new medical imaging techniques and devices - the list is almost endless. The University of Utah alone is now ranked 27th nationally among 199 major research universities.
Michael Young, President, University of Utah: "We have more than 64 companies that we can directly trace in this area that have brought, that have started with University of Utah-developed technologies."
The newly formed partnership is out to develop sort of a Wasatch Front Corridor, similar to what's been developed in California and other states. To bolster the partnership a constitutional amendment will be on the ballot this November that, if approved, will allow the universities to receive stock ownership in spin-off companies.
The universities would lose nothing if the stock fails, but could recycle dividends back into research if it the stock makes a profit.