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Innovation Week at NDSU to showcase students' creative research and development projects

Posted on 1/11/2012

North Dakota State University and the NDSU Research and Technology Park are hosting the third annual Innovation Week, Jan. 23-27, to showcase students' creative research and development projects.

"Innovation Week showcases our activities at NDSU and allows us to bring in people with new ideas to brainstorm and share," said Provost J. Bruce Rafert. "We live in a global knowledge economy, and higher education is on the front lines. At NDSU, innovation is everywhere."

A new component is the Innovation Challenge '12. More than 60 NDSU students representing 24 teams submitted ideas for new, progressive products or services. The teams are competing for cash prizes - $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place.

"Innovation Week provides a platform to raise awareness for entrepreneurship on campus," said Tony Grindberg, executive director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park. "By adding a competition to the week, students have the opportunity to showcase the innovative work being done on campus and to drive entrepreneurship through innovation."

The teams' posters will be on display Wednesday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Memorial Union Prairie Rose Room. Oral presentations will be the same day, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., in the Memorial Union Great Room and Century Theater.

"We encourage the public to attend the presentations taking place on Wednesday so they can see firsthand the innovative projects that the students will be competing on," Grindberg said. "New software technologies, coating advancements and energy self-sustainability platforms are just a few of the projects that will be showcased."

The Innovation Challenge '12 awards ceremony and the Innovation Week keynote address will be Thursday, Jan. 26, at 3:30 p.m., in the Memorial Union Great Room. Businessman Tom Walter, CEO of Tasty Catering, will be the keynote speaker. A serial entrepreneur from the Chicago area, Walter has started 29 companies and acquired three more. He is a member of the Chicago Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.

Innovation Week also will include breakout sessions to help students learn what resources are available for aspiring business owners and to interact with members of the local business community. Topics include how to turn an idea into a business opportunity, how to finance a venture and how to find customers. Visit for a full list of events, which are all open to the public.

NDSU is a student-focused, land-grant, research university listed among the top 108 research universities in the nation by the Carnegie Foundation.

The NDSU Research and Technology Park and Technology Incubator are home to fast-paced, high-growth companies that promote technology-based economic development in North Dakota. The companies compete globally or have the potential to. To operate within the park or Technology Incubator, a company needs to be involved in the advancement and development of new technology and be willing to establish a working relationship with NDSU. The companies work in the fields of material sciences, biosciences and life science technology, information technology, nanotechnology, and advanced manufacturing and sensors/micro-electronics.

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