Boise State helps local businesses and corporations by conducting research and sharing resources with the public and private sector, both benefiting the community and the university.
The goal is to be a “metropolitan university of distinction,” said Mark Rudin, the vice president of research and economic development.
Through research and working with businesses in the community, the university has been headed in that direction.
“We interact with the industry to try and help them be more successful,” Rudin said.
The university conducts research that might be able to benefit industries and create products to make companies more competitive. Graduate students then may be hired by these companies, seeing as they may have previously done work for them.
The overall goal is to ask what Boise State can do for businesses in the community, Rudin explained.
One of the ways the university helps is by sharing resources. If the university has access to equipment that a company needs, they can use it. This is one way that the private sector and the university interact.
“I can’t even imagine what the economy would look like if Boise State wasn’t where it was,” Rudin said.
Still working with local companies means the university needs to be able to work as fast as businesses do. This can be a challenge within the university setting.
“How do we conduct business at the speed of business?” Rudin said.
Along with a relation between the university and the private sector, IGEM (Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission) has added a relation with the government. Through IGEM $2 million dollars have been donated to the research funds for universities in Idaho.
In the College of Business and Economics, the career start MBA is designed specifically to get students ready to enter the workforce. Students in this program are encouraged and given opportunity to join in on projects working with the community.
Trisha Lamb, the director of the career start program, sees these opportunities as a win-win situation. Through working with local industries the program creates a relationship between students and employers. It gives students the opportunity to network in their areas of interest and provides local businesses with research and tools to propel their company forward.
“We have highly motivated, smart and enthusiastic students,” Lamb said.
One of these projects, started by Governor Butch Otter, has students working with Walmart to reduce the amount of manufacturing overseas and increase manufacturing in the nation.
“We’re hoping that we build those bridges and that trust between the private sector and the university,” Rudin said.
Continuing in this direction for the future, the university hopes to reduce the dependency upon federal funding.
As Rudin explained, “I imagine that the outlook at the federal level for those agencies that fund research is questionable right now.”
Funds from the federal government are expected to decrease in the future.
“We’re looking to establish even more partnerships with the industry,” Rudin said.