USTAR hosted an event similar to a science fair at the Utah Capitol Thursday.
Researchers and partners presented various projects inside the Capitol Rotunda to get lawmakers excited about investing in technology development. The state spends about $13 million a year toward new innovations.
The event showcased more than a dozen of the state's most exciting emerging technologies, according to USTAR. Displays included handheld x-rays devices and a pavement made with a special sand that won't wear down. Another project aims to use spider web silk to create better air bags in cars.
"An air bag is designed to just blast you back in the seat. What we think we can do is design something that would actually act more like a net," said Randy Lewis, a Utah State University researcher. "So it would absorb your energy and keep you from moving forward and getting hit, but not have to blast you back with a force."
The group is asking lawmakers for $16 million that could be applied to the various innovations they are developing.