Today the University of Missouri System announced the recipients of a $600,000 investment in two university research teams. The money will be use to further commercialize and expand lab research, which could translate into economic growth in Missouri.
By Elizabeth Trovall (Columbia, Mo.)
EternoGen and HLB Horizons are the first companies to receive MU start up funds through the university’s Enterprise Investment Program. They were picked out of 16 initial proposals submitted last year. During the announcement UM System Vice President for Research and Economic Development Michael Nichols said although these local investments are early stage funding they have the potential to develop into billion dollar industries. Mark Lee is the President and CEO of CLB Horizons, one of the winners of the funding. His company helps develop rare compounds used in semiconductors and large scale rechargeable batteries. Lee says this investment is unique because these types of companies usually take root abroad.
“Our company is really swimming against the current in that most chemical enterprises being commercialized today are taking place in China instead of the United States and certainly not the Midwest. In terms of the local economy we are talking about creating a large number of high paying jobs in the near future," he said.
Lee says his next steps will be expanding the scale of the project, developing ways the chemical compound can be used in new industries and moving from a lab to a larger “pilot plant."