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Blunt Celebrates Five Years of Invention at Jordan Valley Innovation Center

Senator Roy Blunt along with prominent members of the Springfield community gathered to acknowledge the achievements and creation done within the Jordan Valley Innovation Center. KSMU’s Matthew Barnes reports.

Jordan Valley Innovation Center or JVIC is Springfield’s center for high-tech research and development. Originally a milling facility, the center was converted to Missouri State University’s center for biomedical and engineering research. According to Blunt, the center has become a boon for development-not only for Springfield but the entire state.

“What happens in this building today can and will be extraordinary. The number one domestic priority today should be private sector job creation. And there are really very few places where the intersection of government and private sector job creation occurs, but somehow we figured out how to make it occur here,” said Blunt.

Several companies develop their products and run their research and development sectors out of JVIC. Many people working in the facilities, like Anthony Kammerich, Research Scientist for Mercy Medical Research Institute say research and development is an important part of any company.

 “We have all of these different pieces of equipment that are high-tech state of the art that allow us to process materials and information in ways that we previously couldn’t. We don’t want to just get these ideas from the physicians and just watch them disappear, but we also want these products to get to the patients as quickly as possible, because at the point the physician brings us the idea there is already a need for it,” said Kammerich.

 A harness to better secure younger patients for surgery and new developments in eye care are just some of the current projects that Mercy’s Research Institute is working on.  According to Kammerich the Institute has also created several products that are sold commercially.

“One of the ones that originally came out of here was Hands First it is an alcohol free hand sanitizer and it works extended time not just on contact,” said Kammerich.

JVIC houses much more than advanced medical research. Brewer Science is a technology company that works with one of the most valuable substances on the plant according to Dan Janzen Senior Process Engineer for Brewer.

“Carbon Nanotubes, which are like long skinny hollow tubes of carbon. They are very small so small that if you took one your hairs cut off a cross section you could line these up end to end and 50 of them would span that distance,” said Janzen.

The relatively new substance has the highest tensile strength of any material discovered which means it can endure being manipulated into what Janzen calls “inks”.

“We have facilities to actually print mediums, screen printers, ink jet printers.  We are looking to actually print electronic circuits using carbon nanotubes,” says Janzen.

While companies continue to develop new technology at Jordan Valley Innovation Center, Senator Blunt says that these inventions will have a large effect on the population state wide by creating more work.

“Significant things are happening here and all of those things will change lots of people’s lives but the people lives that they change the most  immediately are the people that get those jobs and the people that get to exercise their skills in a way that helps others,”

For KSMU News, I’m Matthew Barnes.