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 North Dakota Department of Commerce
 1600 E. Century Ave. Suite 2
 Bismarck, ND 58503

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            


Contact: Don Canton or Don Larson

(701) 328-2200


Hoeven Presents $1 Million to UND for UAV Center of Excellence


BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. John Hoeven today presented a $1 million check to the University of North Dakota (UND) for its Center of Excellence for Economic Development in UAV’s and Simulation Applications. The Centers of Excellence funding will leverage an additional $2 million in matching funds for the project.


The Center will partner with private industry to bring new Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) and related business ventures to North Dakota. The Center will provide:


·         Education and training development for the integration of UAV’s into the civilian aviation industry.

·         Human flight performance research on UAV’s and simulation applications.

·         Research and development of UAV payload sensors and ground-based cockpits.


“UAV’s hold tremendous potential for both military and civilian applications,” Hoeven said. “This Center at UND Aerospace will ensure that North Dakota is at the forefront of research and development of this new technology. It will also help to support and strengthen the UAV missions coming to Grand Forks Air Force Base, both Predator and Global Hawk.”


Private sector partners in the venture include Lockheed Martin, Frasca International, Alion Science and Technology and Cirrus Design. The Center is projected to create 25 jobs over the next two years.


“We greatly appreciate the support of Gov. Hoeven and the Centers of Excellence program as we create our Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Our world-renowned John Odegard School for Aerospace Sciences has been a pioneer in aviation training through the development of ab initio training -- essentially street-to-cockpit -- and the use of technology. We are excited now that our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle center will be shaping the future of aviation. We see a great partnership continuing between UND, the Grand Forks Air Force Base, the federal government, the State of North Dakota, and the private sector,” said UND President Charles E. Kupchella.


The UND Center of Excellence for Economic Development in UAV’s and Simulation Applications was funded in the second round of Centers of Excellence grants in 2006. To date, 11 projects have received $20 million in grants through the program. These projects have already leveraged more than $70 million in additional funding.


Centers of Excellence are hubs of research and development on the campuses of the North Dakota University System around which related businesses expand and dynamic new businesses cluster. The Governor’s initiative provides up to $50 million for Centers of Excellence. The dollars will be leveraged with private and federal matching funds to generate a total investment in new jobs and businesses of more than $150 million.





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