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Economic impact

MBJ Editorial

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) has released a series of fact sheets highlighting the economic impact the state’s eight public universities have on our economy.

“While education of its citizens is our main service to the state, our universities contribute much, much more to numerous aspects of Mississippi’s economy and well being,” said Dr. Thomas D. Layzell, Commissioner of Higher Education.

A few projects mentioned in the fact sheets:

• The Forest Products Utilization Laboratory at Mississippi State University, one of only three such facilities in the nation, researches the technical needs of forest-based industries and users of wood products, developing new products and methods for the industry.

• Jackson State University’s Technology Transfer Center provides transportation-related information, technical assistance and training to small cities, counties and rural transit agencies in Mississippi.

• The Mississippi Polymer Institute at the University of Southern Mississippi provides cutting-edge assistance on commercial product and process development in every aspect of polymer research, including plastics, fibers, adhesives and coatings.

• The Thad Cochran National Center for Natural Products Research, the only facility of its kind in the nation, was established at the University of Mississippi to discover, develop and commercialize new pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals derived from natural products. Patentable drugs available for licensing by commercial companies are also being developed at Ole Miss’ Research Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences.

While Mississippi’s higher education system faces a number of overwhelming challenges, the principle one being the resolution of the Ayers case, it’s important to remember that the faculty, staff and students are working hard for Mississippi business and industry. The entire state benefits from their work.

The IHL facts sheets are online at www.ihl.state.ms.us. Take the time to read them today.

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