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Idaho Gives More Money To Center For Energy Research

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies is operating under a new budget plan for 2012.

New figures mean a boost of about $4 million for the center’s involvement in Idaho research universities. Perhaps the most important implication of a budget increase from the state is some sign of success in the work being done at CAES.

“We see a direct connection between what we do here and every person in the state,” said program manager Raymond Grosshans.

The connection sprouts from immersion in research across Idaho. Grosshans handles the partnership between the Idaho National Lab and the state’s three major research universities. CAES aims to lead important research and attract more students and faculty.

“Over the past 5 years we’ve demonstrated that by working together we can compete nationally for research grants,” said Grosshans.

Compete they have. From a small state investment, CAES has made a large revenue return.

Researchers at CAES in Idaho Falls believe more investment in their work is more investment in Idaho’s future.

During fiscal year 2011, Idaho granted the program $1.6 million.

CAES made an 11 to 1 return on that investment. This year, they’ll receive $2 million. CAES is working to make energy from agricultural waste.

“For this state in particular, that’s significant because of course is a very agricultural state,” said Grosshans.

As a program operating cooperatively with Boise State, the INL and Idaho State University, CAES has a lot of different arms. More money from the state can certainly be looked at as a show of good faith for researchers with connections to all of those programs.

During the 2011 spring semester, more than 550 students were enrolled in nuclear energy programs.

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