University of South Dakota

Technology Readiness Acceleration Center: TRAC

Vermillion, SD

Venture Challenge

Federal Share: $600,000
Local Match: $600,000

This grant will fund the Technology Readiness Acceleration Center (TRAC) at the University of South Dakota (USD). TRAC is a partnership with Sanford Health and will build strong ties with industry partners and other stakeholders in the region to encourage and enrich South Dakota’s biomedical innovation ecosystem. This investment will promote human health and develop the entrepreneurial infrastructure by supporting entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize new biomedical products. The biomedical industry is a key industry in Eastern South Dakota, and this investment will build a culture that complements this innovation-based industry to result in positive economic impacts both locally and regionally. In three years, TRAC expects to support the development of 30 biomedical technologies, to form 10 new companies and to create 28 new jobs. The TRAC program will connect institutional, state, and private sector aims byproposing activities that will aid in USD’s technology transfer process, will further South Dakota’s Science and Technology Plan and will help address areas of industry interest. Aligning these aims furthers TRAC’s main goal: to create a pipeline for technology development to further contribute to regional economic development activities and increase the region’s capacity to successfully compete for SBIR/STTR federal funding. Through the engagement of innovative thought leaders in the private sector and at USD, the TRAC program will achieve regional impacts for postgraduation employment opportunities with increased regional connectivity from new and reinforced stakeholder relationships. This program will bolster innovation, develop a highly skilled workforce, and support commercialization efforts.