Fargo, N.D. — North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple participated in a bill signing ceremony on May 16 at NDSU, signing Senate and House bills that fund the North Dakota Department of Commerce budget, including Centers of Excellence programs.
Dalrymple signed the bills during a ceremony at the NDSU Research & Technology Park. Joining Dalrymple for the event were area legislators, NDSU President Dean Bresciani, UND President Robert Kelley, and business and education leaders.
“This legislation will create continued opportunities for our young people by advancing our targeted economic development strategies, expanding the success of our Centers of Excellence program and promoting private investment in our companies,” said Dalrymple.
President Bresciani said the investment in research and economic development provides enhanced opportunities for students, as well as for the state of North Dakota. He noted investments in the state’s research universities result in further advancement of the state.
The legislation includes $15.5 million in funding for Centers of Research Excellence and other similar programs, including workforce enhancement grants, technology-based entrpreneurship grants, and the newly-created Small Business Technology Investment Program.
Dalrymple also signed a House bill that enhances North Dakota’s angel fund investment tax credit, providing incentives to promote nationwide, private-sector investment in the state’s angel fund enterprises.
State Senator Tony Grindberg, executive director of the NDSU Research & Technology Park noted that the state’s investment in entrepreneurship enhances North Dakota’s future.
David Batcheller, COO of Appareo Systems which is located in the Park, said that the company, which began with just a few employees in NDSU’s Research 1 in 2001, was last year named the fastest growing private engineering company in the U.S. by Inc. magazine. Appareo now occupies the Batcheller Technology Center building in the NDSU Research & Technology Park.
North Dakota’s Centers of Excellence program was established in 2005, and was built on the concept of partnering the research capacities found in the state’s colleges and universities with private-sector companies to generate jobs and new business opportunities. As of June 30, 2010, $26.2 million in state funds have been leveraged for an estimated total economic impact of $406.5 million to North Dakota’s economy, according to figures provided by the North Dakota Commerce Department.