Research Park Archives

October 19, 2010

'Presidential Update' from the Research Park

Mississippi State University's Dr. Mark Keenum shares the latest success story and a little bit of history from the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park during the Oct. 15 installment of "Presidential Update."

October 22, 2010

Busy, successful days: Cotton Mills, SemiSouth, homecoming


Third District Congressman Gregg Harper (left to right); Gov. Haley Barbour; former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, who is now executive director of Campus Operations at Mississippi State; Power Integrations CEO Balu Balakrishnan (at podium); SemiSouth CEO Kenney Roberts; and MSU President Mark Keenum. Photo: Russ Houston | University Relations

It’s been a busy — and successful — week for Mississippi State on the economic development and research fronts.

On Thursday, the Board of Trustees of the state Institutions of Higher Learning approved the university’s proposal to advance development of the Cotton Mills Marketplace project in Starkville. The Cotton Mills Development Group is working on the final stages of the financing package for the convention center development on a high-profile piece of property across Highway 12 from campus. Plans also include a 150-room hotel, restaurant and office space. You can read more about it from the University Relations news release at

And today — on a postcard-perfect Friday — a California-based “clean tech” company announced a $30-million investment in SemiSouth Laboratories Inc., a spin-off company built on technology developed by Mississippi State researchers. MSU President Mark Keenum, Gov. Haley Barbour and Congressman Gregg Harper were among the VIPs in attendance for the announcement at SemiSouth’s facility in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park.

From our perspective, that’s a pretty good start to the university’s homecoming celebration. Whether you’re on campus or celebrating being a Bulldog from afar, make sure to wrap the weekend in maroon and white.

November 23, 2010

Busy fall for research, economic development at MSU


By DAVID SHAW | Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Signs of the season are all over our campus these days. Autumn leaves are falling. The Junction has been decorated for Christmas. And students, faculty and staff are rushing to finish the semester’s business as winter break approaches. But before we get there, we take a couple of days to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, and I want to take this opportunity to share several success stories we’ve seen the past few months.

The Social Science Research Center recently celebrated its 60th anniversary — an incredible milestone. The SSRC is the oldest center at Mississippi State, and one of the largest centers that focuses on social sciences in the nation. I add my congratulations for the tremendous reputation that the faculty and leadership have garnered for the SSRC and the university.

I know that many of you have been anticipating an announcement about the Cotton Mills Marketplace development in Starkville. In late October, the Board of Trustees of Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning gave its approval to an MSU proposal to advance development on the site that sits across Highway 12 from our campus. This project will bring a world-class conference facility to the Golden Triangle, and several of our research centers will lease space when it is complete.

One of our startup company success stories began a new chapter last month. SemiSouth, which was born from research right here at Mississippi State, and Silicon Valley-based Power Integrations have entered a strategic partnership that includes a capital infusion that will bring news jobs to the Thad Cochran, Research, Technology and Economic Development Park and provide tremendous opportunities for both companies.

And while we are in the Research Park, if you haven’t seen Dr. Mark Keenum’s “Presidential Update” from the park, I encourage you to watch it now. In it, Dr. Keenum details its history and provides a vision for the park’s future as it plays a growing role in the economic vitality of the state. There is extra activity in the Research Park this week as we prepare our new building for tenants to move in Dec. 1, and anticipate breaking ground on another building in early 2011.

As you can see, we have many achievements for which to be thankful. Mississippi State is positioning itself to continue to grow our research and economic development efforts and to provide leadership for our state, nation and world.

Happy Thanksgiving — and go Dawgs!

December 17, 2010

Looking back: 2010 a phenomenal year


By DAVID SHAW | Vice President for Research and Economic Development

As we wrap up another calendar year at Mississippi State, I've looked back on my past year in this position and have seen progress on so many fronts.

The Cotton Mill conference center is moving toward reality, and I am convinced it will have a tremendous impact on MSU and Starkville. The university commissioned an independent feasibility study of the project, which came back with a very positive assessment, and even a recommendation that the hotel should be enlarged. We hope to see completion in 18-24 months.

Following the Select Committee on Efficiencies and Innovation, several follow-up committees have provided me with recommendations specific to the research program. I have already implemented a number of these recommendations, and am working toward others. Our office is working to provide better and more efficient support to your research efforts, identify new opportunities, and build the infrastructure necessary to continue moving our institution forward.


Engine for growth and progress
As many of you know, our university has been a key asset in creating economic development opportunities in Mississippi. We truly are serving as an engine for growth and progress in the state, and the Mississippi Development Authority and Legislature have come to fully realize the strategic benefit that a top-tier research university can be in industry recruitment, as well as business development and support.

The Research Park is an important component of our overall research and economic development strategy, and we are excited about the new business incubator building that was completed in the park this month. Tenant feedback has been very positive. We have also brought together the Research and Technology Corporation, the Office of Technology Commercialization, and the Cochran Entrepreneurship Center, physically co-locating them in that building so that they can work together closely and provide better service to MSU faculty and our industry partners.

In addition, the MSU Science and Technology Center building under construction at Stennis Space Center is moving along ahead of schedule, and should open mid-year. This facility will house the Northern Gulf Institute, and establish a strong presence onsite at SSC and expand the university’s presence throughout the Gulf South region.

Earlier this fall, the Electron Microscopy Center and the Institute for Neurocognitive Science and Technology were brought together into the Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technologies. I2AT is poised to have the infrastructure and expertise to accomplish more than the sum of its parts. It is also developing a partnership with the College of Veterinary Medicine for clinical imaging capabilities for animals that will be unique in the Southeast.


Committed team
Turning specifically to the Office of Research and Economic Development, our staffing is in place and I could not be more pleased with the team we have. Each person in ORED has a tremendous can-do attitude and is wholly committed to Mississippi State and the growth of our research enterprise.

There are so many other things that come to mind, but this is a great sampling of the phenomenal year we have had. As I reflect, I am so appreciative of the spirit of cooperation that exists on our campus, and I am honored to be in a position such as this that allows me to see first-hand the tremendous resourcefulness and intellectual capability of our faculty, staff, and students.

I wish you all the very best for the holidays, and look forward to a great 2011. And go Dawgs! Beat Michigan!

August 12, 2013

Busy summer: mentoring, Yokohama Tire, new AVP, and more

We have had an eventful summer in the Office of Research and Economic Development: new faces, productive collaborations, successful programs and more. Like many of you, we are now looking forward to the start of a new academic year when our students return to class Aug. 19.

Several weeks ago, I participated in a memorandum of understanding signing event with the Army’s Project Manager for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., and while there, I met a number of Mississippi State alumni who are engineers with the project office. I am always impressed by the caliber of our graduates whom I meet when traveling. Their success is a testament to the outstanding programs and faculty we have on campus.


David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Research videos online
For several months, ORED has been working with the Television Center and University Relations to develop short videos that tell our research story to the public. These high-quality clips cover a variety of topics, from educational curriculum development to oil spill analyses by our State Chem Lab. We will be continuing to develop these videos over the next several months, so if you have a good idea that would demonstrate the breadth and depth of our creative discovery, please don’t hesitate to share your ideas with me. You can find these videos at

Reorganization streamlines responsibilities
Safety and regulatory compliance are two of my office’s highest priorities because they are essential to the well being of our students, employees, visitors and local community, and they are absolutely critical to advancing our status as a major research university. Last month, we announced that Michael Parsons will lead the new Environmental Health and Safety Office at MSU. The new EH&S office is charged with developing, managing and implementing policies and programs related to occupational safety, environmental management and fire protection. With campus-wide environmental compliance issues and safety-related activities consolidated into EH&S, the former Office of Regulatory Compliance and Safety is now the Office of Research Compliance with Kacey Strickland continuing as director. The research compliance office will also have oversight of financial conflicts of interest related to the university's research enterprise. Please contact Michael at or Kacey at with your environmental health and safety or research compliance concerns or questions.

Human subjects research conference a success
In late July, dozens of Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects professionals from around the region gathered at the Hunter Henry Center for the third-annual IRB Connections Conference. Topics on the agenda included minimizing risks, human-robot interaction, social media data collection, and a roundtable discussion of new and ongoing issues in human subjects research protection. Congratulations to MSU IRB officer Jodi Roberts and the IRB staff for hosting this informative and well attended event, and thank you to our faculty who led sessions: Daniel Carruth, Cindy Bethel, John Edwards and Kari Babski-Reeves.

Training opportunities for human subjects research
If you are a student, staff or faculty member and are planning to conduct human subjects research in the upcoming months, or are in need of a refresher, please plan to attend the training workshop scheduled for Sept. 13 in the Tully Auditorium in Thompson Hall Annex. You may register to attend this human subjects session at but if you are unable to attend the live training, an online option is available. Please visit to access the online training.

Sponsored Programs Administration here to help
As I mentioned last month, Sponsored Programs Administration is committed to helping faculty find the resources needed to support research endeavors. Recognizing that not all faculty members have departmental support for proposal development, SPA is working to provide this support as needed. Please let Jennifer Easley know if the SPA team can assist you with creating your proposal budget, completing Grants.Gov forms, or performing other administrative tasks related to your funding proposals. Contact her at or 662-325-3751.

SPA taking nominations for DAWG program
After a successful launch last year, Sponsored Programs Administration is taking nominations for year two of the Departmental Administrator Working Group — DAWG, for short. The professional development program provides participants an eight-month curriculum designed to develop sponsored-project administration skills and foster networking opportunities with campus peers. Topics included budget building, sponsor guidelines, application packages, regulatory compliance, proposal submission systems, the role of the principal investigator in managing a project, and understanding facilities and administrative costs. To apply, visit

MSU hosting Argonne National Lab Day in September
Please remember that on Sept. 9-10, Mississippi State will host officials from one of the world’s leading research facilities. During the two-day visit, MSU faculty, staff, administrators and students will have opportunities to meet with Argonne National Laboratory leaders and researchers and explore partnership and funding possibilities. I encourage you to take advantage of this special opportunity to engage with personnel from this top-tier federal research lab. The registration deadline is Aug. 26. To register, visit

Mentoring our graduate students
Many of us can thank a mentor, or mentors, for the success that we have achieved in our lives. Additionally, my career has been enriched by mentoring students and colleagues over the years, and I believe it is one of the best ways we can give back and also contribute to the ongoing success of our university. In October, the Graduate School and the Center for Teaching and Learning are holding a two-part training course on “Fundamentals of Quality Graduate Student Mentorship,” and I urge you to participate. Part one takes place Oct. 2, with part two following on Oct. 17. To register, visit

Yokohama Tire opens office in Cochran Research Park
Since 1989, the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park has been an integral part of economic development in our state, and it is now home to a number of leading corporations. The park’s newest tenant is Yokohama Tire, which has opened an office in the Industry Partners Building while its manufacturing facility is under construction in Clay County. The office will host an array of professionals ranging from engineers to human resources professionals. We are pleased to have Yokohama Tire in the park, and look forward to working with the company, its suppliers, local economic developers and elected officials as the multi-phase project moves forward.

Final words
On Aug. 1, Drew Hamilton came on board as the new associate vice president for research. Dr. Hamilton hit the ground running, and I expect him to have an immediate impact as we work to support and expand fundamental and applied research, secure funding and seek innovative solutions for pressing local, state, national and global needs. Please join me in welcoming him to the Mississippi State family.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this month’s letter. Please feel free to contact me at with your research or economic development questions or suggestions.

Go Dawgs!

— David

July 2, 2014

Research, economic development on the move at MSU

The students on campus for orientation sessions have been impressive this summer, and like you, I look forward to seeing them back in August when a new academic year begins. As you know, providing research opportunities for all of our undergraduates is a priority at Mississippi State, and that is one very important aspect of the overall student experience that sets us apart from our peers. There are a number of new initiatives in the works to enhance research opportunities for our students, and I am excited about them coming to fruition in the coming months. Please let me share a few other items of interest with you.


David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

International opportunities growing
As I mentioned in my last letter, I traveled to Italy in early June with Jim West, dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. We had very productive discussions there with colleagues at the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the University of Arkansas Rome Center, and I expect that we will have a number of new partnership opportunities for students, faculty and staff in Rome in the near future. It is an exciting time for global outreach at MSU, and you can find more details about our visit at

Sidewalk expansion underway in Research Park
I hope you saw the news about the sidewalk expansion project that is underway in the Cochran Research Park. This additional amenity will further enhance the quality of work-life for folks in the park, as well as local residents who walk, run and ride their bikes there. Adding a sidewalk around the Research Blvd. loop has been a top request for many, and we are pleased to see its construction underway. Read more about it at

Traveling this summer? 'Game of Pawns' video a must-see
The Office of Research Security’s ongoing outreach and education efforts include “Game of Pawns: The Glenn Duffie Shriver Story.” Produced by the FBI, the movie presents a chilling depiction of how easily a foreign intelligence service can recruit people — especially college students. It is a must-see for anyone traveling overseas. For additional information or to schedule a screening and discussion session for your unit, please contact Neil Lewis at 662-325-8682 or Debra Hicks at 662-325-0400. The video is also available for viewing on the FBI website at

Kudos and congratulations
Every month, I look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you. Here are a few that have come to my attention:

* Congratulations to Mimmo Parisi and the nSPARC team, who learned recently that a joint project with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security has been awarded a $1-million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor after a very competitive review process. They are developing innovative ways to create methods for data use in workforce and economic development.

* Kudos to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Jenny Du and her co-authors — Nam Ly, Jim Fowler and Nick Younan — for receiving the 2014 Best Paper Award at the Workshop on Hyperspectral Image and Signal Processing: Evolution in Remote Sensing, which took place in Switzerland late last month. The paper, “Dimensionality Reduction of Hyperspectral Imagery with Sparse and Collaborative Graphs,” was one of three honored out of approximately 200 submissions.

* Congratulations to principal investigator Tommy Morris and co-PI Yong Fu, also in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who are leading research in a strategic partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric as part of a U.S. Department of Energy program to improve the efficiency of the nation’s electrical grids. Mississippi State’s grant for the work to provide intrusion detection software and training is for $464,000 over two years.

* Best wishes to Josh Jeanson, who is leaving the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer for a position at the University of Virginia. Marc McGee will serve as OETT interim director for the next few months as we begin the search process.

Final words
In two weeks, our office will be moving from Allen Hall into the newly-renovated Lee Hall. We expect minimal interruptions to normal operations July 16-17, but please note our new physical location on campus: 3001 Lee Hall. The street address is 262 Lee Hall, Mississippi State, MS 39762. Our telephone numbers will not change.

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about Mississippi State’s research and economic development activities, please feel free to contact me at

Go Dawgs!

— David

About Research Park

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Maroon Research Blog in the Research Park category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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