Peoria NEXT looking for consultants

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Peoria NEXT has gone through a realignment process to better position the company to attract technology commercialization opportunities. 

As Peoria NEXT enters its second decade of operation, the company is focusing its resources and energy on four main areas of concentration.  These four areas have a commercial future and play to the strengths of this region in terms of skills and abilities. The company will closely monitor developments in each of these fields, looking for viable applications within each.

NEXT Medical: Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries and the Greater Peoria Region has a cutting-edge medical infrastructure that has witnessed over $600 million in recent investments, additions and renovations. The focus of NEXT Medical (NM) is to generate funding to sponsor and manage research in the areas of cancer biology, health informatics, medical education and medical device development. With vision that extends far outside the laboratory, NM can aggregate funding from both public and private sources, develop research projects involving multiple institutions and actively manage their funding and accountability.

NEXT Energy: There is a need to cultivate new sources of power in order to support the world’s energy needs. The question is how to harness renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydroelectric and biofuels) more effectively and efficiently. Whether it involves upgrades in building materials to reduce heating/cooling needs, improvements to electricity grids, or new advances in geothermal or biofuel production, NEXT Energy is poised to assist as scientists and entrepreneurs turn today’s cutting edge ideas into viable energy solutions for tomorrow.

NEXT Food Products/Safety: This region has long been an agriculture powerhouse.  Couple that with the presence of the USDA’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) and it makes the Greater Peoria Region a prime location for developments in food products and safety. With a powerhouse like NCAUR in its lineup, Peoria NEXT is confident that investments made in basic and applied research programs will generate new products and technology from US agricultural commodities and continually improve the quality of life.

NEXT Manufacturing: With Caterpillar and dozens of other manufacturing plants, Peoria NEXT would be shortsighted not to include manufacturing as one of its core disciplines. NEXT Manufacturing will focus on advances in materials and manufacturing to ensure that viable ideas can be applied across fields of study. As advances are uncovered, NEXT Manufacturing will be there to guide them to fruition in the marketplace.

Now is your chance to take an active role in developing our future. We are looking for people who specialize in these four areas to join the Peoria NEXT Consultant Team. If you want to get involved, send us an email stating which of the four disciplines you are interested in and why you’d like to be a part of the Peoria NEXT Consultant Team.  Send your information to jsander@edc.h-p.org.