The University of South Dakota’s research park in Sioux Falls has the potential to expand, if state lawmakers OK the funding. House Bill 1175 seeks the state government’s approval for $1 million to further develop the park, after the university’s request through the Board of Regents was denied. Proponents say it promotes economic development, as private companies partner with USD’s biomedical program.
Board of Regents Executive Director Jack Warner doesn’t testify for or against the bill, but answers committee questions about the importance of the research facility.
“It is certainly a goal for the state and for the Board of Regents institutions to promote research, to spinoff research into technology transfer and into viable companies that would pay high wages out into the future for our state. The plan, as you recall Senator, identified several clusters and key areas that we were to focus on, and several of those would be covered within this particular research park operation. I think as we look forward as a state, this is truly a vision for how South Dakota should look 10-20 years from now,” Warner says.
Warner says the request was denied because BOR is already juggling multiple projects, and wanted to allocate funds to freeze tuition for in-state students. The $1 million request is less than the BOR request, which university officials say is needed most to start planning. The committee deferred final action on the bill until next week.