LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — University of Wyoming Vice President for Research and Economic Development Bill Gern has been recognized for boosting business development in Wyoming.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently awarded Gern its 2016 Tibbetts Award.

The award recognizes individuals, organizations, firms or projects that made a visible technological impact on the socio-economic front and exemplify the best in innovation research achievements.

The SBA noted that Gern's work has created jobs and opportunities across the state and has started initiatives that have become a model across the nation.

Economic development programs under Gern's direction have generated nearly $750 million in capital impact and 20,000 new jobs in the last 20 years. The City of Laramie alone has grown its tech industry from just six firms in 2000 to more than 60 now.

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