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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Gov. recognizes UA innovation

    Gov. Janet Napolitano delivers her weekly press briefing on  campus yesterday, where she presented the first ever Arizona Innovation Award to Mark Riley, a UA associate professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering. Riley helped create the Redi Ripe sticker, which determines whether a fruit is ripe.
    Gov. Janet Napolitano delivers her weekly press briefing on campus yesterday, where she presented the first ever Arizona Innovation Award to Mark Riley, a UA associate professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering. Riley helped create the Redi Ripe sticker, which determines whether a fruit is ripe.

    Gov. Janet Napolitano visited the UA yesterday, awarding an associate professor the first ever Arizona Innovation Award, designed to recognize top innovators in the state.

    Mark Riley, member of the BIO5 Institute and an associate professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering, received the award yesterday for his work with the Redi Ripe sticker, designed to detect the level of maturation in fruit by detecting the amount of ethylene gas a fruit is emitting.

    “”Arizona needs to be a state of innovators,”” Napolitano said.

    Fruit emits ethylene gas as it ripens, Napolitano said. The censor sticker changes color when it detects the gas, indicating the fruit is ripe.

    “”This will help farmers to yield the maximum amount of crops, reducing the amount of waste,”” Napolitano said.

    The device will cost a penny apiece, and works by changing from a white hue to blue as a fruit or vegetable ripens and becomes ready to eat, Riley said.

    “”One bad apple really can spoil the bunch,”” Riley said. “”This can help farmers reduce their losses and help consumers as they buy their fruit. We’re not curing cancer here, we’re just trying to help people get more fruit, save a little bit of money and hope that this may encourage entrepreneurial acts along this line.””

    Napolitano also delivered her weekly press briefing in the Rincon Room of the Student Union Memorial Center yesterday, fielding questions about her recent visit to Iraq and Afghanistan and the rising crime rate associated with border security.

    “”This type of award has a simple elegance to it. Because Riley’s device is not a high-tech
    gadget, it’s something that everyone can understand.””

    – George Davis,
    UA provost

    “”I was recently in Iraq and Afghanistan to meet with members of the Arizona National Guard who are deployed there, and as an Arizonan I am proud of what men and women are doing over there,”” Napolitano said. “”We got into this war precipitously, without thinking things through or doing our diplomatic homework, and we shouldn’t duplicate the mistake and exit the war without thinking things through as well.””

    Touching briefly on the issue of increasing crime rates near the Arizona-Mexico border, Napolitano drew parallels between the rising level of difficulty in crossing the border and the rising rate of crime.

    “”We have seen the crime rate increase,”” Napolitano said. “”But the law enforcement on the Sonoran side of Mexico is boosting up and we are working on both sides of the border now.””

    Although yesterday’s crowd consisted mostly of members of the press, administrators, professors and a few students were in the audience as well.

    Also in attendance was Provost George Davis, who said he came to the briefing to congratulate Riley and see the governor in action.

    “”This is a celebration of entrepreneurship,”” Davis said. “”This type of award has a simple elegance to it, because Riley’s device is not a high-tech gadget, it’s something that everyone can understand and it helps big growers and small growers alike.””

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