SDSU Research Park celebrates 10 years

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KSFY) - Its been ten years of innovation and research, all done on the outskirts of South Dakota State University's campus.

The SDSU Research Park focuses on technology and science-based development and provides a central home for university students, faculty and businesses to grow.

The park is celebrating a significant milestone, but some may wonder what is going on inside?

"The Research Park was a brainchild of elder statesmen of Brookings, South Dakota, he is the founder of Daktronics Aelred Kurtenbach, and so they started having discussions about the Research Park," Dwaine Chapel, SDSU Research Park CEO/Executive Director, said. "And so, the research park is where faculty, industry, and students can come and innovate ideas and to create a commercialized product."

Before research began, the area was home to acres of farmland.

"In 2008, when we were in the Great Recession and to see what has happened in those ten years is remarkable," Sen. Larry Tidemann, (R) Brookings, said. "I remember when we had the groundbreaking 11 years ago there was nothing out here except alfalfa fields."

Senator Mike Rounds was governor when the plans for the park were put into place. In hopes of drawing more people and innovation into the state.

"You're seeing it right now in some really good examples one of the best is when we talk about precision agriculture," Rounds said. "How do you learn about it? How do you make agriculture more efficient? It's by the research that is being done right here in South Dakota State. This research facility is here because people on the outside with capital invested in it, in a partnership with the state of South Dakota and South Dakota State University it allowed young people to stay in the state. That's what this is all about."

"It's just been a lot of excitement this past year we were able to work with several engineers from the college of engineering to develop product and helping to turn those products and ideas into businesses," Chapel said.

Many things have been accomplished since the groundbreaking, from an app to assist cattle monitoring to work on artificial intelligence.

SDSU's Research Park is home to more than 40 companies.