(AP)  Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has signed legislation creating a $5 million plan intended to bolster
university research and businesses that  can help grow Idaho's economy. Otter's signature this week caps one of his chief priorities heading into the 2012 Legislature. In January, the Republican governor urged lawmakers to get behind his so-called Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission - or IGEM. The goal is to get cutting-edge research being done at Idaho universities to commercial markets more quickly.
Otter says IGEM sends a signal to the world that Idaho is ready to enter a new era of opportunity, collaboration and innovation. The plan would put $1 million toward grants for startup businesses or technologies, as well as $2 million each for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies and Idaho's three research universities.