Idaho politics: Otter announces high-tech council membership

The brother of state Commerce Department director Jeff Sayer will head a panel designed to implement a university high-tech research initiative.

The 12-person panel will work on the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission, Gov. Butch Otter's effort to bring university research projects to market. The 2012 Legislature approved IGEM, and the newly named council will have $950,000 in state grants to bring research projects into the market.

The chair of the panel is Doug Sayer, owner and president of Premier Technology, a Blackfoot company that builds custom equipment for the Department of Energy, among other clients.

Other notables on the panel are Jeff Sayer; state Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene; state Rep. Gayle Batt, R-Wilder; and State Board of Education President Kenneth Edmunds.

Here's the state Commerce Department news release.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today announced a series of appointments to the new Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Council.

Membership on the IGEM Council represents a balance of private- and public-sector interests in recognition of the strong partnerships that are necessary for the private sector to create viable business and career opportunities through harnessing the research and innovation that is central to the mission of Idaho’s universities and the Idaho National Laboratory.

“Idaho has a tremendous opportunity to lead the nation in development of innovative technologies that will help existing businesses grow and nurture the startup of new employers,” Governor Otter said. “IGEM represents a long-term investment in our state’s future, and I’m confident we’ve assembled an experienced, knowledgeable team that will facilitate and accelerate the transfer of new technologies from our universities to the marketplace.”

Members of the inaugural IGEM Council include:

Industry Representatives
• Doug Sayer (Chairman) – Owner and President, Premier Technology (Blackfoot)
• William Gilbert, Jr. – Founder/Owner, The CAPROCK Group (Boise)
• Von Hansen – Vice President and General Manager, Value Enterprise Products; LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions, Hewlett-Packard Company (Boise)
• Rick Stott – Executive Vice President, Agri Beef Co. (Boise)

Legislative Representatives
• Senator John Goedde – Idaho State Senate (Coeur d’Alene)
• Representative Gayle Batt – Idaho House of Representatives (Wilder)

Idaho Department of Commerce
• Jeffery Sayer – Director, Idaho Department of Commerce (Boise)

Idaho State Board of Education
• Kenneth Edmunds – President, Idaho State Board of Education (Twin Falls)

Idaho National Laboratory/Center for Advanced Energy Studies
• Dr. David Hill – Deputy Laboratory Director – Science & Technology, Idaho National Laboratory (Idaho Falls)

Idaho Universities
• Dr. Richard Jacobsen – Executive Director for Research and Technology Transfer, Idaho State University (Pocatello)
• Dr. John (Jack) McIver – Vice President for Research, University of Idaho (Moscow)
• Dr. Mark Rudin – Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Boise State University (Boise)

IGEM was one of Governor Otter’s top legislative priorities during the 2012 legislative session, with House Bill 546 passing by an overwhelming majority in both the Idaho State Senate and House of Representatives. IGEM also received strong support from Idaho’s universities, the Idaho State Board of Education, the Idaho Technology Council, Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, the Idaho Chamber Alliance, and the Idaho National Laboratory,

One of the primary responsibilities of the IGEM Council will be developing a statewide strategic plan to foster innovation. The Council also will develop and oversee the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission Grant Fund, which includes $950,000 appropriated by the Idaho State Legislature for grants. IGEM Grant Funds will leverage private-industry guidance and the talent and expertise of Idaho’s research universities to commercialize innovative and viable technologies that will strengthen Idaho’s economy, create more job opportunities in our communities and meet the Governor’s Project 60 goals.

Heck, he killed the first tech council right after becoming Guv

Tell me there's no such thing as Karma. The good lord gave Cleyon 'Butch' Otter tremendous good looks and the gift of gab, but he made him dumber than a box of rocks. Butch just now figured out selling the Chinese $10 million worth of hay ain't all that much; Mr. Sayer's company can do that much biz in 1 hour from the box of a pickup truck.


I recall reading in the paper that Otter disbanded this group and told everyone to go into animal husbandry or something like that. It says a lot about the respect Idahoans have for the office of governor if Otter can treat the high-tech sector so shabbily, and yet get such heavyweight people to serve on a committee. I'm sure these people know full well the committee or be disbanded on a whim or its recommendations relegated to the dustbin, yet they keep coming back.

Labrador is the problem….sought to defund the INL

Labrador is the problem. He unbelievably sought to defund the INL. The INL, Idaho’s three research Universities are uniquely able to help our nation take its next bigger steps to energy independence. The IGEM effort also supports the STEM initiative in public K-12 schools.

This public-private effort is mission critical to Idaho building on strengths unique to our state. Impressive team. Jeff Sayer is a respected member of the Turnaround Management Association. Leaders in manufacturing, technology, agriculture, INL, University R&D.

the old STAC

had run its course - those who actually WENT to STAC meetings, actually READ their proposal... would beg to differ. @Tom_P.. is that you, Bill? LOL) And their final proposal was about as far from best practice as policy proposals can be.

The entrepreneurs on STAC were terribly frustrated at the lack of action.. or even interest in doing things, let alone the kind of bold, disruptive action that is 100% necessary to move the state forward. Who was going to tell powerful institutions that they need a 180 degree change in what they're doing? Not that panel. And you miss STAC?

This is a VERY good group - though it needs much more entrepreneurial presence. If you are going to go for a more innovative Idaho, it would have been better to have as many people on these as possible who are experts at this. (I am typing this at the world's #1 conference of entrepreneurship experts. I look around and I can literally see 5-6 people who would be invaluable assets to iGEM. I am happy to volunteer these resources.)

Think "ICE": Innovation = Creativity + Entrepreneurship. Ideas are never scarce, implementation/execution always is... you want innovation, you need to grow the state's ecosystem for entrepreneurship. That IS doable. (http://bit/ly/EcoSys for a start) I am skeptical, I fear, that we will not ever take the kind of bold, disruptive action that Idaho so desperately needs - we would rather sink than offending powerful folks? But I sense the tide may be turning, so I remain optimistic!

Maybe it's better to ask... How can *I* help this committee?

Is that you, Norris? Be

Is that you, Norris?

Be explicit about what you mean by "bold, disruptive action that Idaho so desparately needs." Sounds like conference-speak to me.


how Gov. Otter couldn't find a single woman in the high-tech industry to join.

Gayle Batt . . .

Not from the high-tech industry, but there is Gayle Batt. And apparently iGem is no longer just high-tech. I mean Agri Beef is one of three industry representatives . . .