Skip To Content

Search the Newsroom:

(Seperate multiple keywords with a comma)

Sanford Partners with NDSU on Research

BISMARCK, N.D. – The Centers of Excellence Commission has approved $1.67 million to fund two new Centers of Research Excellence at North Dakota State University, aimed at supporting growth and innovation in North Dakota businesses.

“These two new research centers are promising economic development projects for the state of North Dakota,” North Dakota Commerce Commissioner, Al Anderson, said. “Centers of Research Excellence projects help us leverage the talent and research expertise that exists in our state.”

North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo will receive $1.35 million to develop a Center for Life Sciences Research and Applications. The Center will conduct life sciences research with private partners, including Sanford Health, Sanford Research and the RJ Lee Group, Inc. The Centers of Excellence Commission also approved $320,000 to establish the Center for Technologically Innovative Products and Processes (CTIPP) at NDSU. Initially, the CTIPP will partner with industrial companies such as Mid America Aviation, Amity Technology, and Arkema, Inc., assisting with product research, testing, evaluation and analysis.

NDSU was recently recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s elite category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity”.

“These Centers will be a significant addition to NDSU’s research efforts benefiting our state’s economy, while leading to opportunities for students, both in their studies and in their future careers. The Centers provide technology-based economic stimulation that can only come from the comingling of research university and business development activities,” NDSU President Dean Bresciani said.

“NDSU’s involvement in these exceptional research partnerships will involve graduate and undergraduate students participating in research activities by the Center and its partners. In parallel with this CORE effort, NDSU also plans to offer additional opportunities for postgraduate studies and research in genetics and bioinformatics,” Bruce Rafert, NDSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs said.

The two new NDSU centers include:

Center for Life Sciences Research and Applications
Sanford Research, headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Fargo, N.D., plans to partner with the new Center for Life Sciences Research and Applications at NDSU for research on human genomics and bioinformatics. Initial focus is expected to include breast cancer research and research into certain rare diseases in children.

Sanford Research and RJ Lee have committed to contribute cash and in-kind contributions totaling $2.7 million to the Center for Life Sciences Research and Applications over a period of more than four years.

"Sanford Research is pleased to partner with NDSU in this important health research initiative," Ruth Krystopolski, Executive Vice President of Development & Research, Sanford Health said. "We share the belief in and enthusiasm for the application of genomic information toward novel clinical trials, next-generation therapies and cures. Already, advances in clinical genomics have enhanced translational research activities in type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and child-hood rare diseases among other disciplines at Sanford Research. This project will allow for an even greater level of integration between scientific discovery and the doctor's office, and most importantly, improve care for the patients we serve in our region."

In addition, the RJ Lee Group, Inc., a major supplier of industrial forensic capabilities, plans to work with the Center for Life Sciences Research and Applications and the NDSU DNA Laboratory to develop next generation DNA-based identification and forensic tests and methods. Based in Monroeville, Penn., the group was founded by North Dakota native, Richard J. Lee.

The goal of the Center for Life Sciences Research and Applications is to combine the resources and capabilities of multiple private sector partners interested in the life sciences, with NDSU’s research and development capabilities for life science-related technology or product development.

Center for Technologically Innovative Products and Processes (CTIPP)
The Center will focus on research to enhance products, reduce production costs, and improve processes. Center partners will utilize NDSU’s expertise in such areas as materials characterization, corrosion research, chemistry and engineering. Another goal of the program is to promote the use of technological developments that have a cost effective, but positive environmental effect in the energy industrial cluster in the western part of the state.

Initial partners in this new Center of Research Excellence include: Mid America Aviation, a leader in the aerospace industry based in West Fargo, N.D., Amity Technology, a leader in agricultural equipment applications, in Fargo, N.D., and Arkema, Inc., a global producer of industrial chemicals, performance products and vinyl products, based in King of Prussia, Pa. Arkema, Inc. is developing products to serve wind-based energy production, a growing energy segment in North Dakota.

The three initial private sector partners have committed cash and in-kind match contributions totaling $640,000 for the new research Center. This new research center will also allow NDSU students to participate in industrially relevant research.

“The Center of Research Excellence program will provide substantial benefit to Mid-America Aviation by enabling us to leverage the great facilities and personnel at North Dakota State University to provide research support for our development of new overhaul and manufacturing technologies,” Randall D. Herman, chief operating officer, Mid-America Aviation, West Fargo, N.D. said.  “This partnership with the state of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, and Mid-America Aviation represents the best possible utilization of public and private resources to enhance business opportunities in our region, to grow our business, and to provide better employment opportunities to our workforce.”

“This new industrial research Center offers opportunities for both industry and students,” Philip Boudjouk, Vice President for Research at NDSU said. “It will conduct research to help companies solve product supply chain problems, while giving students substantial research experience in this business sector.”

Centers of Research Excellence
North Dakota’s Centers of Research Excellence are hubs of research and development partnering with private companies to commercialize new products and services.  The program is overseen by the Centers of Excellence Commission which is comprised of members from the State Board of Higher Education and the Economic Development Foundation.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.


Sanford Research | Darren Huber | Sanford Media Director | Fargo Region
701-200-6080 |
Follow Me @SanfordDarren
NDSU | Carol Renner
701-231-5174 | 

North Dakota Department of Commerce | Jesse Bradley
701-328-5300 |