NDSU, UND, ND University System Part of Regional Technology and Innovation Alliance

The University System of North Dakota, NDSU and UND are partnering with the University System of Montana and 11 colleges and universities from five state regions to create a regional technology and innovation alliance.

Its name is “Shanyuan University Innovation Alliance”.

Mark Hagerott, president of the University of North Dakota system, said innovation, R&D and high-tech jobs are concentrated in a few states, leaving smaller, more rural states with a small slice of the pie.

“We realize that’s part of it, and it’s not that our professors, faculty, and students aren’t innovative or creative people,” Hegroot said. “But we just couldn’t scale it up.”

Hagrot said higher education presidents and commissioners in the five states began discussions in the fall of 2020 to form the coalition.

“There’s a realization that rural states aren’t getting their fair share of federal research and innovation funding,” Hegroot said. “As the 21st century economy emerges, our children, our families and our state are at a disadvantage unless we come together to innovate together and become more competitive as a whole.”

Hagerott said the alliance will allow the region to take advantage of things like the Chips and Science Act passed by Congress. When the bill was first drafted, it established innovation hubs in larger states, he said. But Hargrot expressed appreciation for the senator’s efforts. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), which will be a country center.

“We’re very interested in competing for the center,” Hegroot said. “We created the five-nation alliance just to have overall cooperation, but also to fight for this regulation.”

Hargrot said Congress has now agreed to provide the first funding for the innovation centers.

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