Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Pretty neat story out of UGA this week about caviar farming. So far, coverage has landed in the AJC and in The Wall Street Journal (scroll down once you click the link), mostly with a tailgate hook.
While a clever hook, I would imagine most of the uses won't be at high end tailgates. But that doesn't really matter. What is important is that this is another example of how the research enterprise at UGA produces a tremendous amount of ideas with economic and environmental value (full disclosure -- my company has done some project work for the UGA Research Foundation, which is part of this research enterprise, so I have more than a passing familiarity with what they do).
The sturgeon effort is a great example of a project that helps preserve a population of rare native species and provides a commercial product. Other products you may have heard about include a number of leading commercial trees pioneered by Tree Introductions of Oconee County and other types of shrubs and flowers, various types of turfgrass, Watkinsville's Electrostatic Spraying Systems, and many other commercial enterprises. Other UGA research enterprises focus on biotech, cancer research, and diverse areas of research in keeping with the University's broad focus.
For Oconee County and Northeast Georgia, these are also the types of companies and enterprises that have strong potential to spur innovation and create jobs in industries we haven't even thought about. As the Federal government ups its spending on higher education and research, we need to be sure our leaders understand its importance for our present and future economic well being, and fight for every last dollar that can come to UGA.