Discovery channels: Super phones, biofuels take form in KU laboratories

Lawrence,KS (08-16-2008)

From Lawrence Journal-World
By Chad Lawhorn

A new sign on the Kansas Turnpike proclaims three major KU accomplishments that passing motorists may want to know: the 2008 NCAA mens basketball championship; the 2008 Orange Bowl championship and KUs status as an international research university.

The research designation is listed first.

KU administrators long have made boosting the universitys status as a major research university a top goal.

So, what do KU researchers have cooking that could affect your daily life? Heres a look:

Super phones

Researchers at KUs Information and Telecommunication Technology Center are doing the legwork for a world where wireless phones truly will work like powerful computers.

"Your cell phone could become a broadband Internet computer," said Michelle Ward, the public relations manager for the center. "It would work just as well as the broadband computer sitting in your office."

The key is television airwaves. KU researchers -- led by professor Joseph Evans--have been studying whether devices like wireless phones, Palm Pilots and hotspots can take advantage of unused TV spectrum without messing up the TV industry.

Ward said researchers already have done enough work to know the concept is possible. Now ITTC leaders are just refining the parameters.

Cheaper shipping

In todays world of high fuel prices, greater costs of the products you buy are related to shipping costs.

Researchers at ITTC are hoping to ease the shipping cost pressures by improving the use of radio frequency identification tags by major retailers and manufacturers.

The RFID technology allows manufacturers and retailers to use computers and radio waves to keep track in real time of their inventories. The thinking is that greater efficiency will cut down on transportation costs.

KU researchers--led by Daniel Deavours have come up with new technology to tackle the longtime problem of RFID tags performing poorly when they are near metal containers.

This concludes the ITTC portion of the article.

For more information, contact ITTC.

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Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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