Friday, March 30, 2012

Why Does Utah Thrive?

The Utah state symbol is not just displayed in front of the capitol building in Salt Lake City, it is also embodied in the industry that exists in this state.

But another beehive of activity are the labs at the University of Utah. These aren't just college students preparing some abstract academic exercise. They're inventing biomechanical medical products the university plans to patent and spin off into Utah-based companies.

"We've averaged over 20 a year for the past six years. We've had over 120 since I came in in 2005," said Jack Brittain with Utah Technology Venture Development.

It's Brittain's job to develop Utah's tech industry. South of Salt Lake City in the cities of Provo and Orem, entire technology business parks have recently opened. Paying for all the university professors training a high-tech workforce is a program called USTAR.

"If you look at what's happened around the country, many states have looked to their universities to do that. But what they've tended to do is build buildings. Building buildings is fine and we have a couple of buildings in our USTAR program, but unless you have the money to recruit the people to work in those buildings, it will never be successful," said University of Utah President Dr. Lorris Betz. KLAS-TV Las Vegas