SDSU to invest in new research park

Char Telkamp

Char Telkamp

Plans to build a University Research Park in Brookings may soon be a reality. The park would be a major research and economic development initiative for South Dakota.

“Ultimately, this means an entirely new level of economic development opportunities for South Dakota and the region,” said SDSU graduate Governor Mike Rounds. “I look forward to working with SDSU, the Brookings Economic Develop-ment Corporation, the City of Brookings and the SDSU Foundation in creating a technology park.”

The group has been preparing to establish a research and development park for five years. Recently, they formed a steering committee to fully represent the joint interests of economic development.

The committee is to be made up one official member and two appointed members representing each group; SDSU, the Brookings Economic Development Corporation, the City of Brookings and the SDSU Foundation.

Land has already been set aside for the purpose of building the park and Banner Associates of Brookings have been engaged to determine what the infrastructure needs and costs will be to develop the land into a University Research Park.

“A successful University Research Park draws research agencies and businesses around it,” SDSU President Peggy Miller said. “They locate there because cutting-edge research and technology development is available to help them. They also come because the city and state provide a favorable climate for growth and incentives to help.”

SDSU would also benefit from keeping close ties with cutting-edge companies located on or near the campus that can provide students and faculty with opportunities for internships, part- or full-time employment, joint research projects, product development, and as sounding boards for various ideas or innovations.

SDSU already has researchers creating ideas and technology that can attract the new bio-economy businesses to come to Brookings and South Dakota.

Among the research efforts currently under way at SDSU are aviation grade ethanol, and bio-pharmaceuticals.

Faculty in Veterinary Science is performing joint research with Hematech, Inc., a Sioux Falls biotechnology company that may lead to antibodies produced in livestock but with applications in human health. The department also hopes to fund building a Level Three Bio-containment Lab at SDSU. This would be the only Level Three Bio-containment Lab available for several states.

The College of Engineering is part of a consortium that prepares prototypes or models of manufacturing components for testing in product development. Additionally, researchers and leaders at SDSU have begun to study the possibility of building a national Seed Technology Center.

“Many seed businesses have already come to Brookings to be close to these scientists and their labs,” Miller said.

The SDSU Foundation has invested in an Enterprise Institute, which will provide assistance with patents, trademarks, business planning, capital formation and connections to potential production, distribution and marketing groups.

The Institute is scheduled to start building on the lot next to the Foundation at Eighth Street and Medary this summer.