Gov. Jack Dalrymple participated in a bill signing ceremony today for Senate Bill 2057 and House Bill 1057, legislation that funds the North Dakota Department of Commerce's 2011-2013 budget and creates incentives to promote job creation in new entrepreneurial enterprises.
Dalrymple signed the bills during a ceremony at the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Research and Technology Park in Fargo. He was joined by legislators, NDSU President Dean Bresciani, University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley, and business and education leaders.
"When we invest in job creation, we invest in the future growth and prosperity of our state," said Dalrymple. "This legislation will create continued opportunities for our young people by advancing our targeted economic development strategies, expanding the success of our Centers of Excellence program and promoting private investment in our companies."
Senate Bill 2057 allocates $41.8 million in General Fund dollars to fund the North Dakota Department of Commerce and expand the state's economic and workforce development initiatives. The funding includes $15.5 million for Centers of Research Excellence and other similar programs, including workforce enhancement grants, technology-based entrepreneurship grants, and the newly created Small Business Technology Investment program.
North Dakota's Centers of Excellence program was established in 2005, and was built on the concept of partnering the research capacities found in the state's colleges and universities with private-sector companies to generate jobs and new business opportunities. As of June 30, 2010, $26.2 million in state funds have been leveraged for an estimated total economic impact of $406.5 million to North Dakota's economy.
The state's 18 centers have helped attract funds to North Dakota's campuses for public- and private-sector projects dealing with renewable fuels development, energy and workforce training, as well as technology, aerospace, electronics, advanced manufacturing and other technical research and development areas.
House Bill 1057 enhances North Dakota's angel fund investment tax credit, providing incentives to promote nationwide, private-sector investment in North Dakota's angel fund enterprises. Risk capital is a vital component for growth and entrepreneurial development, and this legislation will enhance North Dakota's job creation opportunities by promoting technology-based private investment and securing sources of risk capital for early stage enterprises looking to grow in North Dakota.
"The North Dakota Department of Commerce strategic plan approved in 2010 will enhance our state's economic future," said Sen. Tony Grindberg. "The legislation adopted by the 62nd Legislative Assembly and signed by Governor Dalrymple, represents a continued emphasis on investment and partnership to keep North Dakota moving forward."