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For Immediate Release
March 8, 2006

Contact For Reporters:
Jim Mitchell
(405) 744-6260
jim.mitchell@okstate.edu


Ponca City approves $2 million for new OSU sensor center
New laboratory will provide leading-edge, national sensor work

Expressing its confidence in positive economic prospects for Oklahoma State University’s new sensor testing center in Ponca City, the city’s development authority has approved a resolution to invest $2 million in the center over the next four years.  
 
 “This is an extraordinary opportunity with world class partners in ConocoPhillips and Oklahoma State University, and Ponca City stands to benefit greatly from the success of the sensor testing center,” said David Myers, executive director, Ponca City Development Authority (PCDA).
 
ConocoPhillips, which donated the 70,000-square-foot building to OSU for the center, will match the $2 million investment from PCDA with a $2 million donation of its own. The center, officially named the “University Multispectral Lab,” will provide a national facility for the testing of sensors and sensor technology.
 
“We are truly fortunate to partner with Ponca City on this project, which has the potential to dramatically enhance our sensor work,” said OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly.  “Thanks to ConocoPhillips and the Ponca City Development Authority, OSU will be able to strengthen its position as a leader in the critical area of sensor and sensor-related technology research.  This is a tremendous boost to our efforts as a research institution, as well as the regional and statewide economy.”
 
While the sensor project is expected to create more than 80 direct jobs, a recent economic analysis by the PCDA shows it could provide a $120 million boost for the Ponca City area economy over the next 10 years.
 
“This is an opportunity to build an economic sector around a growing, knowledge-based industry that has a real potential to attract other companies to Ponca City,” said PCDA Chair Darrell Stolhand.  “I commend President Schmidly for his vision as well as area legislators including Sen. David Myers, Sen. Mike Morgan, Rep. Jim Newport and Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation in Washington D.C. for helping make the sensor center a reality.”
 
 “The new lab will fulfill a national need for a single sensor testing and evaluation facility by enabling the rapid transfer of innovative technologies from the laboratory to the end user.  And, it opens the door to secure future federal funding,” said Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma State University’s Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer.  
 
PCDA, OSU and the company that will operate the center, AMTI of Virginia Beach, Va., worked for more than 18 months to finalize the sensor lab project. The PCDA funds are the result of a half-cent sales tax approved by Ponca City voters in the fall of 2003.
 
OSU’s leading-edge researchers already collaborate with government, industry and other universities to develop innovative sensor and sensor-related technologies for commercialization.  Developments at OSU include bacterial sensors, biomedical sensors, environmental sensors, optical sensors and sensors for homeland security and defense applications.  The new OSU University Multispectral Laboratory will create additional interdisciplinary opportunities for faculty and students working on sensor and sensor-related research projects.



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