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The North Dakota House has rejected a bill to set aside $45 million from the earnings of the Legacy Fund for research at NDSU and UND.

Originally, the two campuses has asked for $100 million over the next two years.

The House Appropriations Committee recommended a “no” vote on the measure. But Rep. Jim Kasper (R-Fargo) urged the House to pass the measure.

"We have two great universities that are involved in research in the state 0f North Dakota," Kasper said. "They have one thing in common -- they're woefully underfunded."

Senate approves research dollars for NDSU, UND

Feb 14, 2019

The state Senate has voted to spend up to $45 million from the earnings of the state Legacy Fund for research at NDSU and UND.

The two institutions had earlier suggested $100 million over the next two year period. But the Senate bill caps the fund at 15 percent of Legacy Fund earnings.

'Energy Research Center' proposed for UND's EERC

Feb 4, 2019

A bill has been introduced in the North Dakota Legislature to create a “state energy research center” within UND’s Energy and Environmental Research Center.

"We need a focus on more exploratory research," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Ray Holmberg  (R-Grand Forks).

Holmberg said that kind of research money used to come to the EERC through Congressional earmarks.

"When that went away, the amount of people willing to give money for exploratory research is really pretty small," Holmberg said.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The idea came from the Valley Prosperity Partnership. The money would come from the earnings from the state’s Legacy Fund.

The Partnership had originally proposed $100 million for those grants.  But the main sponsor -- Sen. Ron Sorvaag (R-Fargo) said with all the demands on those Legacy Fund proceeds, $45 million seemed more do-able.

"So, this will be a significant and predictable investment in the future of North Dakota," Sorvaag said at a Capitol news conference. "This will help bring us to the 21st Century, and it will provide opprtunities for a skilled workforce."

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.

Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive budget does not include the proposal for $100 million for research at NDSU and UND.

UND president Mark Kennedy and NDSU President Dean Bresciani have been advocating for a $100 million investment in research over the next two-year period. The money would come from interest on the state’s Legacy fund. The two universities would each receive $25 million a year.

Burgum said his budget has $200 million for research – but not specifically for the two big universities.

Group pushes for more research dollars at NDSU and UND

Sep 18, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A group called the Valley Prosperity Partnership is supporting legislative efforts to bring more financial support to the state’s two research universities – UND and NDSU.

The Partnership is pushing for the creation of an “emerging technology fund” to support collaborations between the two universities and businesses to commercialize the research. It also wants to give the two universities more decision-making independence on  such items as tuition and recruiting top-notch staff.


UND, NDSU, the University of South Dakota and a consortium of hospitals in the Dakotas have received a $20.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The grant is to help counter high rates of certain cancers in this region. It is a 5-year grant.

UND medical school associate dean Marc Basson is the principal investigator for the grant. He said it was important to have the hospitals be a part of this – because there often is a gap between research and how it translates to patient care.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The director of North Dakota’s Commerce Department wants the North Dakota University System to put more emphasis on “technology transfer” from the two big research universities.

Jay Schuler told the Board of Higher Education – North Dakota can do better when it comes to having research become commercial. Schuler said other states – like Minnesota and Iowa -- are doing it – and North Dakota has a great potential to do more.

UND researchers to study ways to improve power grid

Aug 27, 2015

Researchers at the University of North Dakota will soon begin studying ways to improve the reliability of the country's power grid.

Assistant Professor  Dr. Prakash Ranganathan and Associate Professor Dr. Naima Kaabouch work within the electrical engineering department of UND's College of Engineering and Mines.  They say the nation's current power grid structure is over 50 years old, and needs updating.  Ranganathan says the research will look into what causes instability within the grid, resulting in blackouts than can cost tens of billions of dollars.