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HIGHER EDUCATION COVER STORY Marsha Krotseng, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Planning North Dakota University System Dr. Lew Christopher Director, Center for Bioprocessing Research & Development 26 Prairie Business Research critical to well-rounded economy Agriculture, defense, energy, health – all of these and much more are part of the research landscape for higher education institutions across North Dakota, South Dakota, and western Minnesota. esearch is critical to advancing North Dakota and the nation as a whole,” states Marsha Krotseng, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Planning in the North Dakota University System. “Research plays an important role in our state’s economy and has been a key factor in North Dakota’s increased competitiveness over the past decade.” J. Pat Costello, Commissioner, South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, adds states (like South Dakota) are dedicated to research because it solves a problem in an industry within the state, creates opportunities for jobs, and builds a cluster that can grow over time. South Dakota has 10 research centers in operation. Five of the Centers have ‘graduated’ or no longer receiving state ‘Center’ funding. The other five centers are in their third year. From Fiscal Year 2005 to Fiscal Year 2011, South Dakota invested $24.6 million into the research centers. During that time the research centers generated $155 million in ‘non-center funding’ primarily from federal agencies and private sources. Total research expenditures by the Centers during those years have been $179.4 million. Businesses partnering with the research centers have raised more than $20 million in financing to commercialize research results. The Center for Bioprocessing Research & Development (CBRD) has initiated 26 industry collaborations with private businesses and large bioenergy companies and has trained 79 graduate and undergraduate students. Four new faculty have joined the Center over the past two years. In FY11, 55 graduate, 24 undergraduate and 8 researchers have been employed and trained through CBRD. The Center consists of 120 researchers from nine departments at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City and South Dakota State University in Brookings. The Center was established in 2006 through the Governor’s 2010 Initiative for Economic Development to bring together the bioprocessing research and development resources together. “The bioprocessing research conducted by the Center is of national significance and contributes to the effort of reducing the national dependence on foreign oil and energy R “ November 2011 sustainability, which is a national priority,” states Dr. Lew Christopher, CBRD Director. “Implementation of research findings and technologies developed by the Center can bring about economic, environmental, and social benefits to our society.” Christopher adds that an economic benefit would reduce dependence on imported petroleum; environmental benefits include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced pollution by utilizing industrial and agricultural waste, and biodegradable, reusable and recyclable products; and social benefits would include social development of rural communities and improvements in human health and quality of life. In the past five years, the Center has obtained $13.3 million through 88 awards from state, federal, and industry funding sources. The North Dakota Centers of Excellence 2010 Annual Report states that the Centers of Excellence program has had more than $406 million in estimated total impact to North Dakota’s economy. The Centers have formed partnerships with 190 companies and have led to the creation of more than 1,000 direct jobs with an estimated payroll of $53.4 million. In addition, 18 new or expanded businesses have resulted from the Centers of Excellence program to date. Public campuses around North Dakota have Centers of Excellence that focus on targeted industries, including energy, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, life science, technology and entrepreneurship, and aerospace. These Centers

PB November 2011

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