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Poised to Boom: Capitalizing on Big Ideas at a Small University
South Dakota Ag Connection - 04/15/2019

When it comes to creating new ideas and products, faculty at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology produce a fantastic return on investment. The numbers show that Mines faculty are three times more inventive than the national average.

On average, $2.6 million is invested for every invention generated at a university. At SD Mines that ratio is closer to $885,000 per invention. Since 2011, SD Mines faculty have submitted more than 106 invention disclosures. (These disclosures are a step towards a United States patent.)

The ideas generated at SD Mines tackle some of the world's biggest problems. This includes advancements in clean energy, fuel efficiency, medicine, security, new materials and medical devices, and new methods for efficient manufacturing and repair.

"The culture of innovation and entrepreneurship fostered at SD Mines and supported by the surrounding community has the potential to yield even more breakthroughs, new ideas and products that can be commercialized to have a global impact," says Mines President Jim Rankin.

In the effort to foster continued tech-based economic growth, SD Mines is hosting a Regional Investor Forum. The forum, from 12 -5 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, brings together industry leaders, research scientists, tech start-ups, venture capitalists and angel investors. During the event, successful high-tech start-ups in the area and new ideas generated at Mines will be showcased. The keynote speaker, Ross DeVol with the Walton Family Foundation, will deliver an address titled "Characteristics of Innovation Places: The role of the university and entrepreneur in fostering economic growth." The regional investor forum is open to members of the press.

The annual Student Research Symposium and Design Fair are two other spring events that highlight the innovation and creativity flourishing at SD Mines. The 2019 Research Symposium was last week and the Design Fair is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 16. It will be held in the Surbeck Center Ballroom on the Mines Campus and it is free and open to the public.

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