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RRVRC NewsWire

NDSU's Project Unpack plans celebration, exhibition

NDSU Research News - Thu, 2016-12-08 14:11
A gallery exhibit featuring stories from NDSU’s Project Unpack is scheduled to open Friday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m. at the Rourke Art Gallery...
Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

NDSU researcher awarded $1.89 million grant for Alzheimer's study

NDSU Research News - Wed, 2016-12-07 14:11
Jagdish Singh, chair and professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Health Professions, is receiving a $1.89 million grant award for an Alzheimer’s disease study. ...
Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

Summer Art Camps 2015

UND Research News - Fri, 2015-06-19 10:54

The North Dakota Museum of Art has a few registration spots open in "Art and Music Around the World"!

Have a fun time with your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew. There will be singing, dancing, making instruments and exploring the music and art of cultures from around the globe.

To register - stop by the Museum or call 701-777-4195.

For more information visit the website.

LIGIA FEO CARINA DE DRAGO

"Art and Music Around the World"

Ages 3 - 6 with adult

June 29 - July 2, 2015

(4-day camp, 10 am - Noon)

Museum Members $90

Non-members $120

Explore the fun and amazing relationship between music and art.  Build instruments, play, and dance!

Ligia Feo Carina de Drago is from Argentina. She directs a viola studio, teaches several classes, and conducts Allegro Orchestra as part of the North Valley Youth Orchestra.

Summer Art Camp Sponsors

If you are interested in providing scholarship(s) or other donations, please contact the Museum.

Summer Art Camps are made possible by Xcel Energy, who demonstrates their commitment to our community through charitable contributions and volunteer time.

Summer Art Camps are funded in part by the North Dakota Humanities Council, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dakota Harvest Bakers

Sherwin-Williams

Heather Anderson

Anonymous

Art Wise

Sue and Kim Fink

GF Parks District - Ulland Grant

Sungyee Joh

Danni Masters

Heidi Czerwiec and Evan Nelson

Sherwin-Williams Paint

UND Department of Art and Design

UND Summer Events Council

~ North Dakota Museum of Art

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

New Joint Internal Funding Program: Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP)

UND Research News - Fri, 2015-06-19 10:23

The College of Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering & Mines, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, and the Division of Research & Economic Development would like to announce a new joint internal funding program called the “Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP).”  REAP funding is specifically designed to help faculty members who have submitted proposals to Federal Agencies which, while favorably reviewed, were not funded.  The program will make resources available to faculty members in this situation to allow them to further their research and resubmit a successful proposal.  To be eligible for this program, a faculty member from the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering & Mines, or School of Medicine & Health Sciences needs to have submitted a competitive proposal within the past nine months to NSF, NIH, or DOE and have received a score or critique indicating that the proposal was reasonably close to being funded, but was not funded.  Priority will be given to faculty whose critique indicated that the proposal requires further preliminary work to become fundable.  A faculty member can apply for this program at any time following receipt of the agency review.  To apply, the faculty member must electronically submit a copy of the original proposal, a copy of the Agency review or critique, and a short description (no more than two pages) of how the critique will be addressed by additional studies supported by UND along with a timeline for completing the studies to vpr@research.UND.edu.  The documentation will be reviewed, and if appropriate, an award of up to $25,000 will be made to support further studies.  The faculty member will have up to nine months to complete the studies and submit a revised proposal to the relevant Federal agency.  Awardees will be required to work with a designee from their college or school to ensure that the work undertaken with the award adequately addresses the required elements of the agency critique.  The program will be available until funds have been exhausted.

~Barry Milavetz, Ph.D., Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

Edwin C. James Lectureship and Surgical Resident Research Colloquium is June 26, 2015

UND Research News - Fri, 2015-06-19 10:21

Ajit Sachdeva, MD, FRCSC, FACS, founding director of the Division of Education for the American College of Surgeons, will give the Edwin C. James Lectureship at noon on Friday, June 26, in Crystal Ballroom III at the Ramada Plaza & Suites, 1635 42nd Street South, in Fargo. The title of Sachdeva’s lecture is “Preparation of Residents for Surgical Practice: Challenges, Opportunities, and New Directions."

The lectureship was established in honor of Edwin C. James, MD, (1932–1994), professor and chair of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences Department of Surgery from 1980 to 1989. James was dean of the School of Medicine & Health Sciences from 1988 to 1993. He founded the Surgical Residency Program at the School.

The Surgical Resident Research Colloquium will follow the lecture at 1:30 p.m. and will be held at the same location. Each resident will present a research topic that will be judged by a panel of invited physicians or faculty members. Every year the topics are chosen by the presenting resident with the research conducted under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. Time for questions and answers will follow each presentation. The top two presenters will be honored at the Chief Resident Graduation Banquet to be held following the research colloquium at 6:30 p.m. at the Ramada Plaza & Suites.

The Department of Surgery at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences coordinates the lectureship and colloquium. For further information or questions, contact Geralyn Lunski, conference coordinator, (701) 777-2589.

~ UND SMHS E-News, 6/19/2015

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

UND Neuroscience COBRE Pilot Grant Program

UND Research News - Fri, 2015-06-19 09:42

UND Neuroscience COBRE Pilot Grant Program - Third Round of Commercialization Proposals

As part of our COBRE Phase III grant on neurodegenerative diseases, we are again inviting single- and multi-PI pilot grant proposals. The purpose of this ‘first-in-the-nation’ commercialization pilot grant program is very specific. We want to encourage and facilitate neuroscience research leading to commercialization of research discoveries. The goals of this neuroscience pilot grant program are to assist researchers so that they may achieve measures of success, including the following:

  • Becoming first-time inventors
  • Developing intellectual property
  • Making invention disclosures based on research findings
  • Filing and awarding patent applications
  • Establishing R&D partnerships with industry partners based on disclosed technologies
  • Developing prototypes
  • Licensing patent rights for commercialization of products
  • Attracting additional funding sources to enhance the scope of the work

As part of our efforts to enhance the sustainability of the neuroscience community at UND and to benefit the public, we are pleased to directly assist UND faculty members who have an interest in the commercializing their research findings. Renewal of previously funded commercialization pilot grants is allowed, but new applications must be submitted as described in this announcement.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • A description of deliverables, measurable outcomes and timelines
  • A description of their studies and how those studies relate to project objectives
  • A description of the commercialization opportunities for their technologies

In many cases, an invention or concept disclosure would accompany or precede the proposal. Additionally, applicants must discuss "next steps" to be taken during the funding period as well as following the project period such as developing a business plan, licensing the technology, forming a start-up company, seeking seed funding for a start-up company, or submitting applications for SBIR/STTR Grants from the NIH as a start-up company or in partnership with a commercial entity.

The proposal should outline a management plan for the project, including key personnel and the contributions of each, industry partners (if any), existing intellectual property brought to the project, personal commitments during and beyond the project term, and any actual or perceived conflicts of interest for PIs and those working on the project.

The neuroscience COBRE grant PI (Dr. Geiger) will appoint a review panel with expertise in basic and applied neuroscience research, development of research findings, and entrepreneurship. All reviewers will be bound by confidentiality agreements and will sign non-disclosure documents. As mandated by the NIH-funded COBRE grant program, the proposals must also be reviewed and evaluated by the Neuroscience COBRE grant’s External Advisory Board.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The project’s focus in the area of neuroscience
  • The high quality of work as related to the stated objectives
  • The clarity of the project vision and potential for commercial success
  • The appropriateness of the budget to accomplish objectives
  • The likelihood of creating new wealth and jobs in North Dakota

Pilot Grants:

Eligibility: Pilot grants may be submitted either by a single PI or by co-PIs. The co-PI projects must clearly delineate the shared nature of responsibilities among the co-PIs. The PIs must have full time faculty appointments at UND. Post-doctoral fellows and research associates are not eligible.

Availability of Funds: No more than $200K is available in the current grant year (2015-2016) to support this program. We have not set minimum or maximum amounts for which a single person or group can apply. We would like to fund multiple proposals, but investigators should apply for that amount of money they believe is necessary to meet their stated objectives. All funds must be spent by May 16, 2016. Detailed budgets must be included.

The pilot grant funding mechanism will not support faculty salaries (e.g., summer stipend) or F&A. Requests for equipment are seriously discouraged, but will be considered if the equipment requested is essential to the project and well justified. Equipment purchases towards the end of the grant year (May 31, 2016) will not be allowed.

Application:

The following components must not exceed five pages total (excluding the face page, budget summary, biosketches, as well as IRB and IACUC approvals).

Pilot Project Proposal:

Using PHS398 forms http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html and instructions, be sure to submit the following sections:

  1. Face page
  2. Project summary[1]
  3. Research Strategy section[2]
  • Define project objectives, including deliverables and measurable outcomes for the award period.
  • Describe the work to be performed and its relationship to the project objectives, including development of prototypes and proof-of-concept studies. If applicable, be sure to include any pre-existing or other relevant invention disclosures, filed patent applications and/or issued patents as well as other sources of funding that have contributed to such inventions.
  • Describe your vision of the commercial opportunities for the technology to be developed. Include here examples of practical applications of your invention and how these could be appealing for the development of commercial products and, ultimately, new jobs in North Dakota. If you have already performed a market analysis, it should be included. If the application is based on a technology with a filed invention disclosure, the Office of IP Commercialization and Economic Development can assist you with the market analysis.
  • Discuss “next steps” that will follow the award period, such as licensing the technology, seeking seed funding for a start-up company, or pursuing a state or federal technology grant (e.g., SBIR/STTR).
  • Outline a management plan for the project, including roles of key personnel and industry partners. Discuss any actual or perceived conflicts of interest and how they might be managed.

Intellectual Property:

Describe how intellectual property will be developed and managed. (Please see below for a description of an Intellectual Property Management Plan.) List any agreements, licenses or other contractual obligations in effect or anticipated for the intellectual property that will be used or possibly created in the proposed project. Describe criteria and processes for identifying and handling confidential material.

Budget Summary:

Provide a detailed budget with justification for the project. Consultant and subcontract costs are allowable, provided the consultant/subcontractor is performing substantive work toward project goals; costs for attorney fees would normally not fit this description. Also show any University or external cost-sharing or matching. Requests for investigator salary (including summer salary) are not appropriate; this salary should be offered by the investigator(s) as cost share. Provide a justification of each budget line item.

Biosketches:

Submit NIH’s new style biosketches for the PI(s) and any other key project personnel.

IRB Approval:

Provide documentation of IRB approval, Human Subjects Protection section, human subjects education certification, and Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table (if applicable).

IACUC Approval:

Provide documentation of IACUC approval, vertebrate animal five points (if applicable).

Process:

Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 17, 2015.  The deadline will not be extended. Send one original paper copy and a combined PDF document to Dr. Jonathan Geiger, Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences, UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences, 504 Hamline Street, Room 110, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58203, jonathan.geiger@med.und.edu.

Awards:

Each investigator will be notified in writing by the COBRE PI as to the outcome of the application review. We plan to have decisions made within four weeks of the proposal submission deadline.

Reports:

Progress reports are required by 4:30 pm December 18th, 2015. Awardees will also be responsible for providing information for the COBRE annual report in March, 2016. At the end of the funding period, a final report on outcomes achieved to date and plans for continued success will be required.

Additional Information:

Please phone Dr. Jonathan Geiger (701) 777-2183 or contact him via e-mail at jonathan.geiger@med.und.edu.

Intellectual Property Management Plan:

Any intellectual property (IP) generated from the proposed study will be promptly disclosed by the PI to a licensing officer at the Office of Intellectual Property Commercialization & Economic Development (IPCED). The assignment of the intellectual property (IP) right to the university will be acknowledged and documented at the time of disclosure. In order to determine the most appropriate course of IP management and dissemination for the disclosed technology, the officer will evaluate the technology based on its: 1) current development stage; 2) patentability; and 3) market potential, according to the UND IP Policy and Procedures. If multiple institutions have been involved in the development of the IP, the lead institution will be determined by the amount of contribution from each institution, unless negotiated otherwise among all the contributing institutions and an Interinstitutional Agreement should be established. In case the University of North Dakota (UND) is the lead institution, or the IP is developed from the sole effort by the PI at UND, the IPCED will manage the patent prosecution and marketing of the IP as well as all associated agreements.


[1] 4.2.1  Description: Project Summary and Relevance

The first and major section of the Description is a Project Summary. It is meant to serve as a succinct and accurate description of the proposed work when separated from the application. State the application's broad, long-term objectives and specific aims, making reference to the health relatedness of the project (i.e., relevance to the mission of the agency). Describe concisely the research design and methods for achieving the stated goals. This section should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields and insofar as possible understandable to a scientifically or technically literate reader. Avoid describing past accomplishments and the use of the first person.

The second section of the Description is Relevance. Using no more than two or three sentences, describe the relevance of this research to public health. In this section, be succinct and use plain language that can be understood by a general, lay audience. DO NOT EXCEED THE SPACES PROVIDED.

[2] In the Research Strategy, Section C, Approach, include the following regarding Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs): if research on hESCs is proposed but an approved cell line from the NIH hESC Registry cannot be identified, provide a strong justification for why an appropriate cell line cannot be chosen at the time of application.

Protection of Human Subjects, if the proposed research will not involve human subjects but involves human specimens and/or data from subjects, applicants must provide a justification in for the claim that no human subjects are involved.

Letters of Support, clarification regarding content.

Appendix, Photographs or color images of gels, micrographs, etc., are no longer accepted as Appendix material. These images must be included in the Research Strategy PDF.

~ Bonnie Kee, Administrative Assistant, Department of Basic Sciences

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

Celebrate Professor Richard Wilsnack at Retirement Open House June 29, 2015

UND Research News - Wed, 2015-06-17 09:20

The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science will host a retirement open house to honor Professor Richard Wilsnack from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, June 29, in the Vennes Atrium of the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Grand Forks. Refreshments will be served.

Richard taught in the UND Sociology Department from 1978 until 1989, at which time he became professor in the Department of Neuroscience (now Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science). He teaches medical students on topics related to medical ethics, healthcare, and substance abuse and collaborates with Professor Sharon Wilsnack on federally funded research on alcohol use and related problems, with a focus on women, gender, and culture.

Please join us in thanking Richard for his 37 years of service to UND and wishing him well in his retirement.

~ Debra Walker, Administrative Officer, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Program Coordinator, Psychiatry Residency Training Program

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

Request for Proposals

UND Research News - Wed, 2015-06-17 09:15

Request for proposal from the Industrial Commission of North Dakota Oil and Gas Research Council:  Pilot Program to Determine Best Techniques for Remediating Contaminates from Soil Surrounding Legacy (1951-1984) Waste Pits in North Central North Dakota (Section 9 of House Bill No. 1358- 2015 Legislative Session).

Purpose

The Industrial Commission is requesting proposals from North Dakota research facilities to conduct a pilot program to determine the best techniques for remediating salt and any other contamination from the soil surrounding legacy (1951-1984) waste pits in north central North Dakota reclaimed by trenching.

Background

The following work has been identified as being useful for this pilot program:

The North Dakota Petroleum Council Salt Water Remediation Task Force work should be considered in this pilot program.  Kari Cutting, Vice President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, is the contact person for this information.

The Health Department has been developing guidelines that should be included in this pilot program.  The proposed guidelines are expected to be available by July 1, 2015.     Carl Rockenman at the North Dakota Health Department is the contact person for these guidelines.

The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), in conjunction with North Dakota State University, has been identifying some best practices as part of the ongoing Bakken Optimization Project, and that information would be beneficial to this pilot program.  John Harju at the EERC is the contact person for this information.

Excerpt from House Bill 1358:  Section  9.  The industrial commission shall use $500,000 for the purpose of conducting a pilot program in conjunction  with research facilities in this state to determine the best techniques for remediating salt and any other contamination from the soil surrounding  waste  pits reclaimed  by trenching between 1951 and 1984 in the north central portion of this state.

Proposal Requirements
  • Identified techniques should be utilized for at least one growing season.
  • Research facility should consult with the Department of Mineral Resources and Northwest  Landowners on site selection.
  • Final report should include a list of best practices.
  • Final report should include a long-term management/monitoring plan for the Department of Mineral Resources - Abandoned Oil and Gas Well Plugging and Site Reclamation Fund oversight.
  • Final report must be provided to the Industrial Commission by November  1, 2016.  At a minimum, one presentation may be required to the Industrial Commission, with possible presentations to legislative committees and Oil and Gas Research Council.  Results may also be posted on the Commission or Department of Mineral Resources websites.
Proposal Timeline

Proposals are due July  31, 2015 and must be delivered in electronic format to kfine@nd.gov.  Additionally, five copies  must be submitted in paper format to:

Karlene Fine, Executive Director, North Dakota Industrial Commission, State Capitol - 14th Floor, 600 East Boulevard, Bismarck, ND 58505

~ Brent Brannan, Director, Oil and Gas Research Program, North Dakota Industrial Commission

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

Geography Sets up Environmental Monitoring System at Oakville Prairie Biological Field Station

UND Research News - Tue, 2015-06-16 15:08

In an undisturbed patch of prairie never touched by the plow,  geographer and remote sensing expert Brad Rundquist and a team of students have set up a camera that’s part of an international environmental monitoring project called PhenoCam -- managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Geological Survey (USGS).

UND’s PhenoCam is located at the Biology Department’s Oakville Prairie Biological Field Station.

“The PhenoCam is aimed at a small section of the prairie, taking images every half hour,” said Rundquist, who launched UND’s geographic information systems (GIS) certificate program in 2002. The UND Geography and Biology Departments are part of the UND College of Arts & Sciences.

The UND PhenoCam installation, which now also includes a weather station, runs on a 12-volt marine battery housed in a secure, water-proof box.

A wireless modem—broadcasting on a cell signal--sends photos to a UND server every half hour. The camera shoots images in the blue-green-red spectrum and also in near-infrared. It’s packed inside a sturdy waterproof, weather-resistant surveillance camera housing.

Twin solar panels recharge the battery. A small wind turbine will be installed later this summer as a power backup for the solar panels.

“We acquired the camera through the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS’s) AmericaView program,” said Rundquist, who has been working with AmericaView for the past decade. The PhenoCam system—about 80 cameras across the continent with more being added annually—is coordinated by the USGS North Central Climate Science Center in Fort Collins, CO. The program was launched at Harvard University.

The main purpose of PhenoCam is to study the phenology—or seasonal cycles—of vegetation. Data are collected, stored, and analyzed to help scientists  understand the natural variability of climate and year-to-year weather and to detect climate changes over much longer periods of time.

“The reason this system was set up is that we don’t have a really good idea of how plants respond to different time scales, from short to longer-term, and how those changes vary spatially across the continent,” he said. “So the idea here is to put up cameras that observe the greening up and browning down of vegetation, also the timing of when trees leaf out and when they reach peak greenness, when they change color for deciduous trees, and when they drop their leaves in the fall.”

The station here at UND is meant to broaden the scope of the visual survey to include prairie landscapes, in addition to the many sites located in forested areas.

“For the grassland, we’re looking at when things green up and when they brown down and the timing of that in relation to weather and, with time, climate,” Rundquist said.

“We do time-lapse photography,” he said. UND’s PhenoCam was installed last August but ran into power-supply issues. It was re-installed in April with a new, more efficient battery, and two solar panels instead of a single unit.

The installation involved a couple of graduate and undergraduate geography students.

About the Oakville Prairie
The UND Oakville Prairie Field Station comprises 800 acres of upland and lowland prairie and protects several types of prairie communities that once dominated the Red River Valley. The southern portion of Oakville Prairie contains remnant tall-grass prairie communities, which include grasses such as little and big bluestem.

Oakville Prairie—one of the region’s few remaining tracts of native tallgrass prairie—is located 12 miles from the UND campus and is frequently used for education and research purposes by several departments across campus.

~ University Letter, 6/16/2015

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

Mechanical Engineering Professor Part of Energies Conference in Vancouver

UND Research News - Tue, 2015-06-16 14:27

Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Surojit Gupta is helping to organize the 11th International Conference on Ceramic Materials and Components for Energy and Environmental Applications.

The conference is ongoing through June 19 in Vancouver , B.C., Canada. There, UND’s Gupta is specializing in the Advanced Materials Research Group.  The conference’s focus is on developing innovative thinking and sustainable technology when it comes to offset the increasing demands for energy, clean water and infrastructure.

As part of the conference, Gupta will organize and chair symposiums on “Ceramics in Conventional Energy, Oil, and Gas Exploration” and “Novel, Green, and Strategic Processing and Manufacturing Technologies.”

~ University Letter, 6/16/2015

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

Grants & Contracts PAC Forms Due July 10, 2015

UND Research News - Tue, 2015-06-16 14:25

The Grants & Contracts Administration (GCA) staff will distribute Personnel Activity Confirmation (PAC) forms for the reporting period January 1, 2015 through May 15, 2015.  These forms will be sent out starting on Monday, June 8, to the department effort coordinators.   The PAC forms are due back to GCA by the close of business July 10.

~ David Schmidt, Assistant VP for Research & ED, Grants and Contracts Administration

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

UND Research Reveals More Information about Satellite Images of Bakken Flares

UND Research News - Tue, 2015-06-16 14:13

Researchers from the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) and the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences' Department of Earth System Science & Policy have announced the findings of a recent report conducted to take a closer look at satellite images of associated gas (i.e., flaring) in the North Dakota Bakken Formation.

“Satellite images featured in publications such as National Geographic show the night sky in sparsely populated areas of western North Dakota looking more like the bright lights of large metropolitan areas such as New York City, Boston, or Chicago,” said Chris Zygarlicke, EERC Deputy Associate Director for Research. “Many published images in the media tout new types of satellite imaging used to examine gas flares but rarely explain how the images are derived.”

The UND study sheds light on how these satellite images are being generated and more accurately portrays images of flares at night.

“Results of this work suggest that popular satellite images of North Dakota’s night sky are a result of highly processed data from highly sensitive sensors that amplify light and heat sources from a variety of sources, including manufacturing plants, residences, construction sites, and gas production activities,” said Zygarlicke.

Using images available through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), UND researchers developed improved methods for identifying, characterizing, and processing flare images for several locations in western North Dakota.

“Our team used the satellite data and products from NOAA to conduct image processing and to produce real flare images,” said Xiaodong Zhang, Associate Professor of Earth System Science and Policy, UND Aerospace. “We were able to generate and validate the images using actual production data, which differentiate flaring emissions from other signals, including man-made light, to accurately depict nighttime satellite images of flares,” he said.

The $25,000 project was funded by UND’s Collaborative Research Seed/Planning Grant Award Program with funding provided by the UND Provost’s Office.

“Since my arrival at UND, I have been a strong advocate of research using interdisciplinary team models,” said UND Provost Tom DiLorenzo. “This work resulted in a new, interdisciplinary project at UND, bringing together experts in the fields of atmospheric science, remote sensing, and energy.  Additionally, this project enabled the training of graduate students in a new research area, increased prospects for future larger funding awards in this discipline, and furthered the development of valuable relationships between UND, NOAA, and the oil and gas industry.”

The full final report showing image comparisons is available on the EERC’s Web site.

~ University Letter, 6/16/2015

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

Center for Innovation Awarded National Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds

UND Research News - Tue, 2015-06-16 13:52

The University of North Dakota Center for Innovation is among the first 26 recipients of the national 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program grants, and has received $250,000 under the "Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds" project from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA).

"This award from EDA confirms that our entrepreneur center is among the nation’s leaders in fostering entrepreneurship and angel capital networks,” said Bruce Gjovig, director and entrepreneur coach at the Center for Innovation.“ This grant will expand and enhance our pioneering work helping entrepreneurs, students and angel investors,”  he added, “especially helping strengthen our angel funds network throughout the state which is critical to the entrepreneur ecosystem.”

Of the more than 240 applications that EDA received for RIS Program funds, only 26 awards were made nationwide to advance innovation and capacity-building through three different funding opportunities totaling $15 million. This includes $2 million in nine cluster grants for seed capital funds, i6 Challenge grants totaling $8 million, and another $5 million in science and research park development grants.

North Dakotans historically have had few options for equity capital as is true with other rural states. However, as the state’s economy has begun to transition to innovative technology sectors such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), bioscience, and data warehousing, the Center for Innovation has focused on developing private equity funds to support those innovation sectors.

In order to support emerging entrepreneurs in these technology clusters, the Center will use EDA’s $250,000 investment over two years plus one-to-one match, to coordinate  with existing  angel funds and establish new angel funds to provide entrepreneurs better access to private equity capital. The match funds come from the UND Center for Innovation provided by donations from successful entrepreneurs.

“North Dakota is a rapidly growing state, and it’s important that we facilitate private investments to help our economy continue to grow,” U.S. Sen. John Hoeven said. “This EDA funding will lay the groundwork we need to extend the angel fund network statewide, which will encourage investment and help businesses in our state succeed.”

Early access to capital is crucial for startups but can be difficult to obtain outside traditional startup hubs. The grant allows the Center to provide angel fund development assistance to support the feasibility, planning, formation or launch of new angel capital funds, which will help improve access to capital for entrepreneurs across the region. American innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit along with private investment has long provided a foundation for our strong economy. This is no less true in rural regions like North Dakota.

“As America's Innovation Agency, the Commerce Department has a key role to play in supporting the innovators and job creators of tomorrow," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. "We want to ensure that all entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to move their ideas from idea to market. The Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition is designed to advance this mission across the United States, strengthening our economy and our global competitiveness."

“We are very grateful to the U.S. Economic Development Administration for recognizing our good work and our deep commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and access to entrepreneur capital,” Gjovig said. “This grant allows us to support innovators and entrepreneurs in order to scale up their ventures by improving and expanding access to capital, which aligns perfectly with our growing entrepreneur ecosystem.”

Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds
Early access to capital is crucial for startups, but can be difficult to obtain outside traditional startup hubs. Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds provide technical assistance funding to support the feasibility, planning, formation or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds, which will help improve access to capital for entrepreneurs across the United States.  The total amount of funding for the U.S. Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds under RIS is nearly $2 million.

The nine grantees under the U.S. Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds awards for this round of RIS are:

UND Center for Innovation
The UND Center for Innovation was started in 1984 and was among the first entrepreneur outreach centers in the nation. In 1996, the Center opened the first tech incubator in the Upper Great Plains, and the Center for Innovation Foundation built the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center in 2005.

The UND Center for Innovation is known as one of the premier venture development organizations in the United States, profiled as one of just six venture development organizations for best practices nationwide by SSTI Regional Innovation Acceleration Network, The Center has received 15 national and international awards for excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation by such entities as NBIA, SSTI, EDA and SBA. The Center’s mission is to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and access to entrepreneur capital as well as provide vital entrepreneur infrastructure such as the Ina May Rude Entrepreneur Center and the Skalicky Tech Incubator. The Center is a “Soft Landing International Incubator,” one of the first six so designated in 2006, and one of just 27 incubators worldwide designated for being well suited for international entrepreneurs.

U.S. Economic Development Administration
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

~ Bruce Gjovig, Director & Entrepreneur Coach, UND Center for Innovation, 777.3134, Bruce@innovators.net

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

American Indian Leaders of Distinction Exhibition is Available for Viewing

UND Research News - Tue, 2015-06-16 13:43

UND Art Collections is proud to showcase its new permanent exhibition, “American Indian Leaders of Distinction,” in the newly renovated Anna Mae Hughes Room, Hughes Fine Arts Center.

The exhibition highlights and honors the exceptional work of nine American Indian UND alumni who have become leaders in the state and communities they serve and are committed to improving the lives of others and preserving and promoting their heritage.

“We hope that visitors will encounter American Indian leaders through this exhibition and, whatever their own backgrounds may be, feel a sense of pride for these distinguished alumni who have worked selflessly to help their communities,” said Nathan Rees, UND Art Collections Coordinator of Exhibitions.

An opening ceremony May 8, 2015 honored the alumni featured in the exhibit, as well as the UND photographers who created the portraits, Jackie Lorentz and Shawna Noel Schill.

“My vision for the exhibition was to recognize and celebrate these important alumni for their leadership—as doctors, educators, artists and more.  And all of them received their education at the University of North Dakota.  They are role models, not only in their own communities, but beyond,” said President Robert Kelley.

Students in the art & design department’s museum practicum class also assisted with this exhibition by measuring the gallery space and drafting a layout for the installation.

The Anna Mae Hughes Room is located in the Hughes Fine Arts Building, room 103, and has been recently renovated and is open for public use.

To reserve the gallery, contact Tamara Mulske at tamara.mulske@und.edu.

About UND Art Collections 
The mission of UND Art Collections is to facilitate the use of the University's art for education, research, and community cultural enrichment in ways that forward the University's mission and strategic goals. While providing oversight for the art owned by the University, UND Art Collections also offers assistance to the UND Foundation in the management and use of its art collection.

For more information about UND Art Collections, click here.

~ University Letter, 6/16/2015

Categories: RRVRC NewsWire

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