Innovate Mississippi

Point Innovation Magazine Winter 2013

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POINTES OF INTEREST "Making Stuff Safer" at the Innovation Café Since 2010, the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has participated in a unique global series of events called Science Cafés. Held on campus at Cook Library, these events offer students and community members a casual setting to learn about and engage in conversations with scientists. Science Cafés are free to attend and are funded by a grant from NOVA scienceNOW, which is provided by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Public Broadcasting Service viewers. Recently, the Cook Library site was selected as one of only 40 Science Cafés in the nation to host a special NOVA Innovation Café. Building on the grassroots nature of Science Cafés, NOVA Innovation Cafés specifically focus on topics related to engineering, technology advancement and materials science as explored in the popular NOVA television series, "Making Stuff." October 28, the NOVA Innovation Café presented "Making Stuff Safer with Energy-absorbing Foams in Multi-impact Helmets." Featured speakers from the university's School of Polymers and High Performance Materials were Daniel Savin, Ph.D., assistant professor, and graduate student Andrew Janisse. A video segment from an episode of "Making Stuff" was shown, and Savin and Janisse then showed how their research is "making stuff safer" with energy-absorbing foams in products such as contact sports helmets and mouth guards. In addition, Chase Kasper, director of the Office of Technology Development at USM, discussed the role his office plays in protecting and commercializing these types of university research innovations. "Innovation Cafés are excellent relaxed and informal venues to learn firsthand about the positive impact of research and academic innovations on quality of life," said Kasper. "These types of events embody the very mission that USM is founded upon: education." More than 970 university students, faculty, staff and community members have attended these events, where 26 USM faculty members have presented and discussed their scientific research. Visit or contact for more information. 4 Pointe Innovation Meet World-class Site Selection Professionals The Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC) will hold its annual Winter Conference February 5-7, 2014, at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson. With the theme, "Meet the Consultants," attendees will have the opportunity to learn from members of the prestigious Site Selectors Guild during sessions and discussions held throughout the conference. "The Mississippi Economic Development Council is pleased to host 10 members of the Site Selectors Guild for our Winter Conference," said Mary Martha Henson, executive director of MEDC. "Meet the Consultants will allow participants to gain firsthand knowledge of the latest trends in site location and target industries. This will be an exceptional event allowing participants opportunities to build relationships with those who are decision makers in the site-location world."  Site Selectors Guild members provide location strategy to corporations across the globe and for every industry, sector and function. Arnie Williams, president of MEDC, described the conference as "a unique opportunity to hear from and interact with 10 of the world's foremost professional site selection consultants."     Visit for more information.

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