MSU submits Center of Excellence proposal
Minot State University in partnership with InfoTech-Minot Technology Center, SRT Communications and Minot Area Development Corporation has submitted a Center of Excellence proposal to support the Great Plains Knowledge and Data Center. MSU is requesting approximately $3.4 million in state support for the center. The funding will leverage $11 million in private sector investment in the project.
The Great Plains Knowledge and Data Center will promote the development and advancement of knowledge-based business in the region through two key facilities, a production data center and a research and development center. MSU and its partners anticipate the creation of approximately 30 to 45 new high-tech knowledge-based jobs paying regionally competitive salaries over each year for the next five years if proposal is funded.
InfoTech-MTC will provide the center with client projects, technological expertise, internship and employment opportunities, and data center activities. InfoTech-MTC clients will be provided access to data and services through the production data center. SRT will provide physical infrastructure, broadband access, and professional expertise. The production data center will host InfoTech-MTC applications and provide a site for MSU student internships and future employment.
MSU will host and operate the R&D facility, which will house a replicated production data center for students and faculty to engage in testing and development of client projects and provide marketing, managerial, and data technology consulting services to partners. The center will assist private and public enterprises in software development and testing. Center staff will pursue additional work in collaboration with Minot Area Development Corporation and other regional partners in economic development for long-term sustainability.
MSU personnel involved in conceptualizing the center and preparing the proposal include Steve Hayton and Selmer Moen, faculty members in computer science, and Deanna Klein, faculty member in business information technology. Linda Cresap, dean of the Graduate School and Research and Sponsored Programs, is the principal investigator.
Involved partners expressed confidence in the proposal during the "Knowledge Powers Our Future" seminar held Monday on campus. They said the activities of the center will promote high-paying jobs, increase the areaís tax base, and reduce out-migration due to high-skill employment opportunities that will diversify Minotís regional economy.
Centers of Excellence is an initiative of Gov. John Hoeven that won support from the 2005 Legislature. The state will provide up to $50 million for Centers of Excellence, hubs of research and development on the campuses of the North Dakota University System around which related businesses expand and dynamic new businesses cluster. The dollars will be leveraged with private and federal matching funds to generate a total investment in new jobs and businesses of more than $150 million.
The Centers of Excellence Commission meets today to give proposals preliminary review and to provide initial feedback to applicants. Final decisions on the funding will be made in mid-October.