September 25, 2008

Craig, Crapo, Simpson Announce Eastern Idaho Projects In Defense Bill

Includes INL Research and Funding for Smart Prosthetic Hand Technology

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Idaho Senators Larry Craig, Mike Crapo and Congressman Mike Simpson have secured funding for multiple Eastern Idaho-based projects in H.R. 2638, the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2009.

The bill was fashioned in the Senate and House Appropriations Committees on which Craig and Simpson serve, and includes more than $16 million for improvements and research at Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho State University and other local businesses.

"This funding demonstrates the first class research and development work of businesses and universities in our great State," said Craig. "Many of these projects will directly improve the safety and health of our troops, enabling us to fulfill the commitment we have to the brave men and women who fight to protect our freedom."

"I am deeply proud of the work the Idaho National Laboratory and Idaho's businesses and universities are doing every single day to improve our nation's security," Simpson said. "The projects included in this bill represent critical investments the federal government is making in our nation's security. They also represent investments in our state's high-tech economy and educational institutions that are vital to growing Idaho's economy and creating good paying jobs."

"It is rewarding to see that Congress is, once again, recognizing the important national security contributions made by Idaho universities, research entities, and businesses," Crapo said. "These critical projects are among the most cutting-edge research efforts anywhere in the country and the federal government's investment in them will go a long way toward securing our nation and its interests, as well as advancing Idaho's high-technology future."

The bill passed the House last night by a vote of 370-58 and could pass the Senate as soon as today before moving on to the White House.

A complete list of projects by region follows:

Idaho Falls:

Disaster Response: Communications and Other Infrastructure Restoration Project; INL. ($4,000,000) The funds will be used to provide our nation's troops and first responders with tools that will greatly enhance their situational awareness and emergency response communications when dealing with major disasters.

Power and Cyber Systems Protection, Analysis, Testing Program; INL. ($4,000,000) The funds will be used to establish a program to conduct vulnerability analysis, testing, and protection of Power and Cyber connected systems for the Department of Homeland Security.

Electric Grid Reliability/Assurance; INL. ($1,200,000) This funding will be used for the enhanced development of electric grid modeling, simulation and testing capabilities, allowing our military and national security to better identify, prioritize, and coordinate the protection of critical infrastructure and key resources.

Pocatello:

Smart Prosthetic Hand Technology; ISU. ($1,600,000) This funding is to develop "smart" prostheses that simulate the intricate operations of the hand for wounded troops.

Accelerator Driven Non-Destructive Testing; ISU. ($2,000,000) The development of practical NDT techniques will help the U.S. Air Force reduce aircraft downtime necessary for inspection and enhance turn-around times by more quickly identifying needed repairs through spectroscopy and the use of x-ray.

Security Solutions from Life in Extreme Environments Center; ISU. ($1,200,000) The project will use information about the genetic and molecular mechanisms that enable extremely radiation-resistant microorganisms to survive doses of radiation that are orders of magnitude greater than what humans can withstand and to use that knowledge to design more effective treatments for radiation exposures in humans.

Read Out Integrated Circuit Manufacturing Improvement; AMI Semiconductor. ($1,600,000) These funds will improve technologies to manufacture and utilize infrared sensors for the military.

Highly Corrosive-Resistant Alloy Joining for Nuclear Applications; Premier Technology ($800,000) This funding will be used to develop and test prototype design-for-manufacturing methods, flexible automated welding and inspection technology for application in submarine nuclear reactor propulsion systems. The new joining techniques for the structures will reduce the requirement for inspection, overhaul and maintenance for the Navy's next generation of nuclear submarines.