Fargo Senator proposes research dollars for UND and NDSU

Jan 15, 2019

The presidents of NDSU and UND have been lobbying for more research money.

They proposed $100 million over the next two years.

Now, a legislator has introduced a measure to give the two more money for research.

Sen. Ron Sorvaag’s (R-Fargo) bill would set aside 15 percent of the earnings of the Legacy Fund for that purpose. Sorvaag said it’s an effort to help expand the state’s economy.

"It takes money," Sorvaag said. "Obviously, we don't have a lot of money. And there are a lot of requests for Legacy money right now, so there's going to be a prioritization. But this is looking to the future."

Sorvaag said technology will go to places we can't even dream of.

"Let's invest in the research, and let our research universities be one of the leads in the country," Sorvaag said. He said he believes in a "research corridor" in the Red River Valley, because of NDSU and UND.

"This is the raw, beginning research," Sorvaag said. "This wouldn't be the commercialization of it."

Sorvaag said it's to see if this could generate another revenue source for the state. And he said it will not diminish the importance of agriculture and energy to the state's economy.

"Down the road, we need to look at other things," Sorvaag said.