Utah is one of three states named to assist in initial development of a National Technology Workshop program to support small manufacturing companies in strategic planning for new product development.

The program was initiated by George P. Lewett, director of the Office of Technology Evaluation and Assessment in the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Utah will join Texas and Missouri in the U.S. Department of Commerce pilot program.The program is planned as a series of two- to three-day workshops sponsored by the participating states for small companies targeted by state agencies as having the potential to become more competitive through the use of new technology.

Gordon F. Jensen, director of the Utah Engineering Experiment Station, says the Utah workshops will be coordinated through his office, in cooperation with the State Division of Community and Economic Development. The initial Utah workshop will focus on polymer composites. The dates have yet to be determined.

Other workshops are also planned on bioenergy and chemical and biological sensors. Each workshop will address the topics of strategic planning in small business, the process of new product development and the subject technology, Lewett says.

The objective is to support state efforts in technology-based economic development. Lewett will brief Utah officials, business leaders and U. faculty on the new program at a luncheon meeting Monday, Oct. 15 in Parlor A of the Olpin Union at the university.

The workshop format will emphasize and induce direct contact of the attendant small businesses with potential sources of future technical support including scientists and engineers in state research institutions and universities, federal laboratories and corporate laboratories in the primary industry seeking to strengthen small business capabilities.

Each workshop will be based on a technical publication developed under the program to focus on a specific technology. The new series of publications, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is titled Opportunities for Innovation. Each publication will delineate the opportunities or special niches for small businesses in each major sub-area within the subject technology.