Located on 55 acres in Fargo, North Dakota, the NDSU Research and Technology Park is a place where university researchers and private industry can combine their talents to develop new technologies, methods and systems. Since its groundbreaking on May 19, 2001, both educational and business personnel have been excited about the possibilities for collaboration that the park presents.
Phoenix International Corp.®, a John Deere company and the park’s cornerstone tenant, occupies a 75,000 sq. ft. building. This rapidly-growing company wanted access to NDSU research and a ready supply of engineering graduates from a University where 1 in 4 students are enrolled in engineering and architecture programs. As a leader in the design and manufacture of custom, integrated electronic solutions for Original Equipment Manufacturers, Phoenix has more than 200 engineers engaged in over 60 active projects, with average annual salaries in excess of $55,000. Phoenix was considering expanding outside of North Dakota but was excited at the opportunity to remain in the area.
NDSU and the RTP administrative offices occupy the 40,000 sq. ft. Research 1, with labs and the internationally-recognized NDSU Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials. Approximately 80 people work in Research 1, including lab students. Research 2 opened in March 2004 with 76,000 square feet to house the NDSU Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering (CNSE) and will employ approximately 175 people. CNSE conducts five major Department of Defense-sponsored programs and a partnership and technology transfer arrangement is in place with Alien Technology Corporation, Morgan Hill, CA.
Alien Technology has begun construction of its 120,000 sq. ft. nanotechnology research and production facility in the RTP. Alien’s collaboration began in 2000 with a $1.6 million DoD contract to NDSU for research into military applications of Alien’s RFID or smart tag technology. With a licensing agreement in place, NDSU received an additional $18.8 million in funding. Alien currently employs 30 people and another 285 will be hired for its Phase I development. Within 10 years, employment is expected to grow to 1,100 and the annual payroll to $55 million.
The Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) will also occupy space in Research 2 and employ approximately 8-10 people to meet the high performance computing needs of researchers, government and private sector partners.
The NDSU Alumni Association constructed a 70-room hotel in the RTP, providing educational opportunities for NDSU’s hotel management program, along with convenience for visitors. Candlewood Suites opened in 2006.
Entrepreneurial companies with 29 full and part-time staff currently lease space in other buildings in the RTP and these companies plan to locate to the incubator when it is completed. Bobcat, a business of Ingersoll-Rand Co. Ltd., announced that they will be an anchor tenant in the Center for Technology Enterprise.
The NDSU Research & Technology Park, Inc. is supported by the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, through its University Centers Program.
The mission of EDA is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.