April is Innovation Month here at the University of Idaho, a time when we celebrate the creative and scholarly achievements of students, faculty and staff through a series of interdisciplinary events hosted by our various colleges.
These events — like the Engineering Expo, Innovation Showcase, and Undergraduate Research Symposium — encourage us to think unconventionally and to pioneer new ideas and technologies. They are free and open to the public, and I encourage you to attend so you can see in action some of the best and brightest minds at our university.
Since opening our doors nearly 130 years ago, our faculty, staff, students and alumni have been developing many advancements, like the portable heart defibrillator, Teflon and cube satellites. And these are just a few from the past.
This spirit of innovation is alive and well today. We’re producing a plethora of new technologies that benefit our people and our economy, like a new gene embedded in several new U of I wheat varieties to keep wheat crops from dying when herbicides are sprayed on them. We’re also developing a new fish vaccine to protect trout, whitefish and other salmonids against Coldwater Disease, which costs fish farmers millions of dollars each year. And we’re researching new methods of gene therapy that can one day minimize the negative side effects of chemotherapy.
All of these innovative activities have one thing in common: They are aligned with our university’s goals to address societal needs and global issues, as well as achieve a significant and positive impact for Idaho, our region and the world.
I am excited to see what new and exciting innovations our Vandal community will develop next.
Janet E. Nelson
Research and Economic Development
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Read more research news and features on the Office of Research and Economic Development website.