EDA: $1.5 Million Invested to Boost Entrepreneurial Development Efforts in Disaster-Impacted Fargo, ND

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million grant to the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Research & Technology Park in Fargo, North Dakota, to advance entrepreneurial development efforts. The EDA grant will help NDSU purchase equipment for a newly retrofitted makerspace that supports student and local entrepreneurs in a disaster-impacted region. It will be matched with $500,000 in local funds and is expected to help create 180 jobs.

“President Trump is working every day to empower our nation’s entrepreneurs so they can grow, thrive, and create new businesses,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will allow the NDSU Research & Technology Park to provide the space needed for new business ventures to diversify and grow the economy in the Lake Agassiz region, which was severely impacted by flooding in the spring of 2019.”

“Helping disaster-impacted communities by investing in the tools needed for economic and business success is a top priority for EDA,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “Despite setbacks from flooding last spring, this investment will help NDSU obtain vital equipment to develop a more diversified economy in North Dakota with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and agricultural technologies.”

“We deeply appreciate this investment by EDA to grow and support our entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Dakota, which will help diversify our economy and strengthen its foundation – our agricultural sector,” said Governor Doug Burgum. “North Dakotans have a long history of coming together during times of natural disaster and emerging stronger than before, and the additional business activity and employment made possible by this investment will help us build resiliency in our state, our communities and our economy.”

“This new Innovation Studio is a tremendous investment in the future of tech entrepreneurship, which we’re building into the third wave of North Dakota’s economic growth,” said Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “That’s why we worked with NDSU to secure EDA for funding this project. The studio aligns with a broad range of our initiatives to support not only a growing tech sector, but new opportunities for investment and innovation across industries, including in our traditional fields like agriculture and energy.”

“President Trump and his Administration give North Dakota unprecedented access and attention, and an investment in protecting the region now while empowering the next generation is a prime example of that,” said Senator Kevin Cramer. “These funds will help diversify the area’s economy and increase entrepreneurial activity, and I thank President Trump, Secretary Ross, and Assistant Secretary Fleming for recognizing our region’s great potential.”

“I thank the Trump Administration for their continued support of relief and recovery efforts from last year’s flooding,” said Congressman Kelly Armstrong (N.D. At-Large). “With this grant, NDSU’s Research & Technology Park will be able to provide more opportunities for students while creating jobs and diversifying our local economy. NDSU is an incubator for entrepreneurs, and I look forward to seeing how this new equipment will develop the innovations of tomorrow.”

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage.

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