Following two speeches and time for lunch, the Governor’s Job Summit continued on with a series of seven afternoon breakout sessions. As with the morning sessions, the afternoon sessions focused on vital economic issues.
Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon led a panel on infrastructure for the 21st century, where panelists talked about the need for expanded broadband access and continued investment in transportation infrastructure. Panelists and attendees agreed technology is key to make sure our state stays ahead of the curve and is equipped to handle all of its infrastructure projects more efficiently and intelligently.
The Governor’s Job Summit today also included Innovation Hall, which housed a series of booths that featured unique products, machines and technologies that showcased the inventiveness and creativity in Minnesota.
Walking through the Hall, experts, researchers and company leaders were on hand to describe and explain the exciting innovations on hand.
University of Minnesota researchers demonstrated how localized blasts of radiation via ultrasound would soon be able to treat tumors, cancerous tissue and more diseases in a completely noninvasive way.
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler gave the first in a pair of speeches during the lunch period at the Governor’s Job Summit today. In his speech, Kaler focused on the importance of public higher education to economic outcomes in the state.
“We all know job creation starts with an innovation or discovery, and the seeds grow,” Kaler explained. “Innovation and discovery is our business at the University of Minnesota.”
Kaler’s speech focused on demonstrating the vast impact the University of Minnesota has had on the Minnesota economy because of that innovation and discovery. That impact was closely felt. Immediately outside the doors of the hall in which Kaler spoke, in the Job Summit’s adjacent Innovation Hall, 10 of the 13 companies exhibiting had some relation to the University, whether through University of Minnesota grants, commercialized technologies borne out of University of Minnesota research, or startup ventures spearheaded by the University’s graduates.
With morning breakout sessions behind them, attendees of today’s Job Summit had a lot to think about headed into the lunch hour. Eight different sessions inspired spirited and meaningful conversations about various topics that will play an important role in shaping Minnesota’s future.
In one breakout session, Commissioner Lucinda Jenson of the Minnesota Department of Human Services led a discussion on better healthcare at lower costs, where panelists and attendees both shared their thoughts on the impact of the changes coming to Minnesota as part of the Federal Affordable Care Act, such as statewide healthcare exchanges, and what other efforts will be needed to make healthcare more affordable for businesses, and more accessible for individuals.
Following the Governor’s opening remarks this morning, the Job Summit started in earnest. An executive panel of leaders from Minnesota companies big and small kicked off the event with a discussion about job creation in today’s global economy.
Panel members included Bill George, professor of management practice at Harvard Business School and former Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power Company, Neil Crocker, president of Schaefer Ventilation Equipment, and Susan Rani, principal at Rani Engineering.
The panel was moderated by Kathy Tunheim, Governor Dayton’s senior adviser for job creation.
After a series of regional economic development summits held all over the state, the Governor’s statewide Job Summit kicked off this morning.
Over 700 leaders from Minnesota’s business, nonprofit, government and academic sectors are all gathered at the St. Paul Crowne Plaza to share their ideas on positioning Minnesota’s economy for present and future success.
For patients suffering from atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become blocked due to plaque buildup on artery walls, treatment options can be limited to drugs or an invasive angioplasty procedure. A new technology coming out of the University of Minnesota is hoping to give patients a new noninvasive treatment option.
The University’s Ultrasound Imaging and Signal Processing Lab (UISPL) recently developed a new high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technology that performs noninvasive, real-time ultrasonic imaging and localized treatment. The University team was lead by Emad Ebinni, a professor at the University’s College of Science and Engineering, and was licensed to International Cardio Corporation (ICC), a Minnesota startup, in March.
The Electric vehicle revolution is being pioneered right here in Minnesota. ReGo is a Minnesota-based company that is dedicated to making advances in plug-in conversion technology for existing hybrid vehicles. The company has a triple bottom-line business model that balances people, planet and profits.
To address the plug-in skeptics, ReGo has focused much of its initial efforts on increasing battery efficiency during Minnesota’s extra cold winters, as reported by WCCO. Garrett Ferderber of ReGo explains in this piece that his company has found a way to convert some of the energy gained while a car is plugged in to keep the battery cells warm even in the coldest temperatures. A converted Prius can be taken from 45 MPG to 75 MPG with ReGo’s state of the art lithium-ion battery.
Rushford Hypersonic is transforming academic research into commercial applications for the world of tomorrow. Founded in 2007, Rushford Hypersonic is a cutting edge nanotechnology company that produces a commercial coating used in high tooling, friction and corrosion areas. Without this technology, new frontiers of mining and manufacturing would not be possible.
The Rushford-based company uses hypersonic plasma particle deposition (HPPD) coatings “to protect objects by improving hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. The coating is the hardest on the market.” The company also hopes to use their coatings in medical devices such as prosthetic implants, according to the University of Minnesota. “They hope it will result in implants that will last a lifetime, eliminating the pain of replacement surgeries.
Mcgyan Biodiesel created a new way to produce biodiesel that is changing how the industry produces this renewable fuel. The key to this new technology is a “highly efficient, heterogeneous metal oxide-based catalyst reactor that efficiently and economically converts feedstock plant oils and animal fats to biodiesel.”
There are several benefits to this revolutionary biodiesel process, including the reaction time and effectiveness. The Mcgyan process takes only seconds while other biodiesel processes take hours. More importantly, current waste products such as grease / used cooking oil, animal tallow, and a variety of plant oils can all be used whereas other processes are limited in their materials.