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Words like “Bio Safety Level 3″ and “protease research” sound a little foreign to me when I think of North Dakota. They seem big and scientific, and to be honest, challenge me to think of North Dakota in a new way. This ambassador had never thought about the ground-breaking research that scientists and companies are conducting right in my own backyard, mostly because I didn’t know it was happening. Well, the cool thing is, it is happening!
Life science and bio-medical companies are beginning to recognize the benefits of doing business in North Dakota. The state has been working diligently to put in place the infrastucture and private and public partnerships that help support this growing industry. Programs like the Centers of Excellence are helping businesses to leverage the expertise of North Dakota researchers in our higher education facilities to innovate and grow their business in North Dakota.
The Center of Excellence in Life Science and Advanced Technologies, often referred to as COELSAT, features both wet lab and animal room spaces and houses the region’s only Bio Safety Level 3 germ reserach lab. It is the only lab in North Dakta that can be leased by the month, giving companies the opportunity to conduct specialized research without investing in their own costly infrastructure.
The Center for Passive Therapuetics is working to develop passive therapeutics (antibodies) from value-added ag products to combat virus and infectious disease.
The Center for Biopharmaceutical Research and Prodcution is working to discover new vacicines to help treat some of mankinds most challenging diseases.
The Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering is working on coatings with antimicrobial properties.
Avianax, a life science company based in Grand Forks, is creating therapeutic products using antibiodies from geese and goose products. These antibodies are proving effective against West Nile Virus in research being conducted right here in North Dakota.
Members of the state’s business development team are participating in events like the Life Science Alley Conference, being held in Minneapolis this week. The relationships built and the connections make at events like these help the state to continue to position itself for a bright future in this industry. Not to mention that both UND and NDSU, along with MoorheadState and Concordia College, are providing a strong base of research workforce in a variety of science-based study.
Life sciences will definitely be an industry to watch in the near future in North Dakota. To learn more about the industry, check out Comerce’s Life Sciences in North Dakota publication.