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Minnesota Leading the way in Responsible Electronics Waste Management

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Environment, Public Safety, Technology


An exhibit on E-Waste presented by the MPCA at the 2011 Minnesota State Fair as part of their Eco Experience facility.

In a world increasingly dependent on smartphones and laptops, the issue of responsibly disposing of these electronics is becoming more and more pressing. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) reports that in the last year, Minnesota took in nearly 33 million pounds of electronic waste for recycling, making Minnesota a national leader in collections of e-waste for recycling.

What is electronic waste? E-waste, as it’s called, is what’s created when electronic materials are disposed. This can include cellphones, computers, printers, televisions, digital cameras, etc., and as technology continues to advance and we continue to upgrade our devices, the amount of e-waste we produce continues to rise as well.

Unlike throwing away a piece of paper, however, disposing of electronics can have a huge impact on the environment and on our health; e-waste contains high levels of lead, cadmium, and other chemicals that can pollute the ground and water supply if they aren’t properly disposed of. Electronic waste should always be taken to certified recycling facilities that are trained to manage these hazardous chemicals.


New Online Tools - Online Permit System and Building Code Lookup

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Reform, Technology

The newest paperless initiatives on the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s website include a “Local Code Lookup” feature and an eTRAKit online electrical permit system for homeowners.  

These new tools will make it quicker and easier for homeowners and contractors to access local code information as well as obtain electrical permits online.  With these online tools, people can find the information they need without having to visit or make a call to their local building department.  

The Local Code Lookup – online at – gives homeowners and contractors online access to one site where they can find local code requirements and code inspectors. The Local Code Lookup will help users find out about which code authority and local jurisdiction for permits they fall under as well as have the ability to search other Minnesota construction codes and licensing disciplines.    

The Local Code Lookup gives users access to the jurisdiction directory, where they can find information regarding a specific city, township or county.  They also can view contact information for their local code official or code inspector.    


Highlighting Minnesotan Innovation

Posted on June 14, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Categories: Trade Mission, Technology

Minnesota Innovation

On his current trade mission to China, Governor Dayton is pleased to have two of Minnesota’s finest biomedical companies, 3M and Medtronic, joining him in as members of the delegation. In addition to fostering Minnesota’s trade relationship with China, this trip is a confirmation of Minnesota’s commitment to the exchange of both ideas and information as China and the United States move forward through the 21st century. There is perhaps no better symbol of that commitment than the biomedical field, a field which has unmatched potential to improve the lives of humans all across the earth.

In addition to embodying Minnesota’s spirit of shared progress, both 3M and Medtronic foster strong relationships with China. 3M has had a rubber and adhesives branch in China since 1984—3M China Ltd.—which has its headquarters located in Shanghai. 3M also has eight manufacturing sites and 26 business locations throughout China, and the company has invested over $750 million into the nation as of 2010. You can learn more about 3M’s work in China here.

Since over 60% of all management personnel in 3M are local, the Chinese branches employ primarily Chinese workers. And 3M’s relationship with China is mutually beneficial: according to 3M, the company’s presence in China has been crucial to the company’s overall profits.


Delegation Profiles: Tech & Innovation

Posted on June 14, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Categories: Trade Mission, Technology

Atmosphere Recovery Inc.

Ronald Rich isn’t exactly a novice when it comes to traveling in China.

The president and founder of Eden Prairie-based Atmosphere Recovery Inc. has been to the country four times – taking his most recent trip in March – and is already successfully selling some of his company’s products there.

But China is a huge market, and he is hoping that participating in the Governor’s 2012 Mission to China will open even more doors, particularly with government officials and industry leaders specializing in the renewable energy sector.

“I might learn some things on this trip that I didn’t know before,” says Rich. “By traveling with the governor, I’m hoping that it will help us get some introductions to people.”

Atmosphere Recovery, which Rich launched in December 1994, makes advanced gas analyzers that enable companies to reduce their energy usage and production costs. The analyzers help to monitor the complex mixtures of gases involved in making products, particularly in the steel, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and petrochemical sectors.


Helping Truckers Save Money and Clean Up the Air

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 1:13 PM
Categories: Environment, Transportation, Technology


With diesel fuel prices climbing to $4 per gallon, there's now a loan program that can help Minnesota long-haul truckers save money, stay cool this summer, and reduce pollution on overnight rest stops.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency offers low, 4 percent loans to owner-operated long-haul truckers and small trucking companies to purchase idle-reduction devices. These auxiliary power units, or APUs, are either small, 15-horsepower diesel engines or battery pack systems that can run air conditioning, heaters and electricity to power laptops while the truck’s main engine is shut off.


Governor Dayton proclaims Technology Innovation Month in Minnesota

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 11:23 AM
Categories: Economy, Technology

Governor Dayton has proclaimed November 2011 as Technology Innovation Month in Minnesota.

Technology has been a driving and innovative force in Minnesota’s economy. The state's deep and diverse technology base, which crosses many sectors and fuels Minnesota's economic engine, helps provide the tax base and economic support for Minnesota's high quality of life.

Minnesota is committed to promoting the success, sustainability, and global competitiveness of its technology industries. It has become a powerhouse of technological innovation, fostering groundbreaking collaborations across educational and industrial spheres.

The continued health of Minnesota’s technology sector is crucial to the future prosperity of our state.

To read the proclamation, click here.


Governor Dayton continues work to expand broadband access in Minnesota

Posted on November 07, 2011 at 12:57 PM
Categories: Commerce, Economy, Technology

Today the Minnesota Department of Commerce announced that Governor Dayton appointed 15 members to the Governor's Task Force on Broadband, which will be charged with developing policies to promote the expansion of broadband access in Minnesota — including an action plan for identifying and correcting disparities in urban, rural, and suburban communities.

“For the short- and long-term success of our economy, every school, business, and consumer in Minnesota must have affordable, high-speed access to information and the online marketplace,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “That is what the work of this Task Force is all about.”

Members of the Task Force represent a balance of broadband interests, including consumers, business and residential users, educational and health care institutions, traditional telephone and cable companies, wireless providers as well as metro and rural local units of government. The Task Force was established by Executive Order 11-27.

For a list of Task Force Members, click here.


Governor Dayton attends groundbreaking for new science and engineering building in St. Cloud

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 3:10 PM
Categories: Education, Jobs, Technology

Today, Governor Mark Dayton attended the groundbreaking of a new Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility building on the St. Cloud State University campus.  The new building was funded as a part of the 2011 bonding bill.  Construction of a state of the art science and engineering building will create over 1400 jobs and its presence on campus will ensure that St. Cloud State students are well-prepared for the jobs of the future for decades to come.

The 100,000 square-foot research and teaching facility will house classrooms and labs which are slated to serve high-level science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medical technology, and radiology classes.  It is estimated that 11% of the new jobs created in Minnesota by 2019 will be in the science and technology sectors.  This new facility will help accommodate a 20% increase in enrollment in Science and Engineering majors at St. Cloud State.  Additionally, the research done in this new facility can be used to support Minnesota companies and spur further innovations. 
The new building is slated to open in the fall of 2013.


Governor’s Job Summit: Innovation Hall

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM
Categories: Economy, Jobs, Technology

The Governor’s Job Summit today also included Innovation Hall, which housed a series of booths that featured unique products, machines and technologies that showcased the inventiveness and creativity in Minnesota.

Walking through the Hall, experts, researchers and company leaders were on hand to describe and explain the exciting innovations on hand.

University of Minnesota researchers demonstrated how localized blasts of radiation via ultrasound would soon be able to treat tumors, cancerous tissue and more diseases in a completely noninvasive way.


Spotlight on Innovation: University of Minnesota Ultrasound Imaging and Signal Processing Lab

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 4:15 PM
Categories: Economy, Jobs, Technology

This is part of a series, “Spotlight on Innovation,” featuring companies and organizations who will have exhibits in Innovation Hall at the Governor’s Job Summit this week.

For patients suffering from atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become blocked due to plaque buildup on artery walls, treatment options can be limited to drugs or an invasive angioplasty procedure. A new technology coming out of the University of Minnesota is hoping to give patients a new noninvasive treatment option.

The University’s Ultrasound Imaging and Signal Processing Lab (UISPL) recently developed a new high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technology that performs noninvasive, real-time ultrasonic imaging and localized treatment. The University team was lead by Emad Ebinni, a professor at the University’s College of Science and Engineering, and was licensed to International Cardio Corporation (ICC), a Minnesota startup, in March.


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