Idaho Falls, ID — The Idaho Department of Commerce has awarded an Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Grant to the University of Idaho, Boise State University and their Center for Advanced Energy Studies, to partner with Sakae Casting – a Japan-based company that opened their first U.S. location in Eastern Idaho in April.
IGEM Grants are awarded to state research universities to partner with industry leaders on research projects geared toward commercialization.
The nearly $238,000 grant will help fund Sakae Casting’s research and development efforts by partnering with Idaho’s leading research universities to potentially change spent nuclear fuel storage and cooling capabilities at nearly 100 nuclear power sites.
“This important grant is critical to forwarding our efforts to tailor our Cold Plate technology for use in cooling spent nuclear fuel,” said Takashi Suzuki, president and CEO of Sakae Casting. “We are excited to begin working with the University of Idaho and Boise State University to begin research on this new technology and develop a prototype for future commercial application,” he said.
“We are delighted to receive this award and grateful to the IGEM Council and the State of Idaho for making it possible,” said Dr. Janet Nelson, Vice President of Research and Economic Development at the University of Idaho. ”I am extremely proud of our team for developing the first IGEM project involving nuclear energy research and collaborators from the University of Idaho and Boise State University. This project will lay the foundation for a safer, cleaner future, and highlights the global impact of our research at the University of Idaho,” she said.
Eastern Idaho is home to one of the nation’s largest concentration of science, technology, R&D and advance energy and science industries. With several world-class research universities and the Idaho National Laboratory, Sakae Casting has access to multiple university, research and industry experts to support their efforts in cooling technology for the nuclear industry.
“The IGEM Grant funding is vital to kick-starting Sakae’s extensive R&D efforts and marks the beginning of how their innovations will be supported by Eastern Idaho’s entire supply, research and management chain,” said Jan Rogers, CEO of Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI). “This project is a testament to how a foreign direct investment project can be supported at the local level to grow foreign capabilities in the U.S. marketplace,” she said.
The support of IGEM for Sakae Casting’s project secures Idaho’s strong role in the nuclear energy industry.