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NDSU awarded $1.5 million grant to boost entrepreneurial efforts

FARGO, N.D. – The North Dakota State University Research & Technology Park has been awarded $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration to advance entrepreneurial development efforts.

The EDA grant will help NDSU purchase equipment for a newly retrofitted makerspace that supports student and local entrepreneurs in a disaster-impacted region, the department said on Tuesday, March 17.  It will be matched with $500,000 in local funds and is expected to help create 180 jobs.

“This project will allow the NDSU Research & Technology Park to provide the space needed for new business ventures to diversify and grow the economy in the Lake Agassiz region, which was severely impacted by flooding in the spring of 2019,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019, which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected natural disasters.

Dr. John Fleming, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, said the investment will help NDSU obtain vital equipment to develop a more diversified economy in the state with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and agricultural technologies.

Gov. Doug Burgum said the state appreciates the investment by EDA to “grow and support our entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Dakota” and that it will help diversify the economy and the state’s agricultural sector.

“North Dakotans have a long history of coming together during times of natural disaster and emerging stronger than before,” he said,  “and the additional business activity and employment made possible by this investment will help us build resiliency in our state, our communities and our economy.”