The South Dakota Board of Regents has authorized the development of the University of South Dakota’s new 80-acre research park located in Sioux Falls.
The park will provide students opportunities to work as interns, researchers and part- time employees for local businesses.
In December 2012, the South Dakota Board of Regents authorized USD to create a corporation to oversee development of the research park. Executive Director of the S.D. BOR Jack Warner said the purpose of the park is to have research conducted by USD bring economic growth to the state.
The research park will be located at University Center in Sioux Falls, which is already home to the Graduate Education & Applied Research Center, which houses USD’s Biomedical Engineering Program.
The idea for the research park has been a long time in the making, Vice President for Research at USD Laura Jenski said.
“The first embryonic form of the research park started 10 some years ago with President Abbott’s desire to see the GEAR Center built, and it’s evolved since that time,” said Jenski. “I believe, over time, it became clear that a single building was really not what the final project was going to be.”
The research park will allow USD’s faculty and students to conduct research on more large interdisciplinary problems.
“Problems now are big, they’re sophisticated. They need a lot of different expertise, they need physical scientists, they need social scientists, they need humanists, they need business people,” Jenski said. “I think the real benefit for the university long term, is it’s going to enable us to be more involved in these larger, more sophisticated, problems.”
According to Rich Naser, executive director of the South Dakota Technology Business Center, a small business incubator and accelerator in Sioux Falls, a nonprofit corporation will manage the research park with no paid employees.
This corporation will then contract the operation of the park to the S.D. TBC.
While it will most likely be a year before tenant criteria and development plans are finalized, Jenski expects the university to see immediate value.
“We’ll see some type of benefit right away, and that benefit will be in just building more partnerships with the city and the development foundation in Sioux Falls,” Jenski said. “The Research Triangle Park in North Carolina took 30 years to mature, so we have to be patient, but there’ll be benefits all along the way.”