IMPACTING SOUTH DAKOTA’S ECONOMY THROUGH THE S&T PLAN
South Dakota’s citizens, schools, businesses, educational institutions, governmental entities, and other stakeholders recognize that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research, an educated and skilled workforce, and an entrepreneurial business environment underpin competitiveness in the global economy.
If South Dakota is to effectively integrate a robust science and technology (S&T) strategy into the broader state economic development enterprise, the process of developing that strategy must be inclusive of all stakeholders: citizens, industry, postsecondary education, K-12 education, economic development organizations and state government.
SD EPSCoR helps build South Dakota’s research infrastructure and increases its capacity to successfully compete for federal funding. Over the last five years, EPSCoR grants to South Dakota invested $64.5 million in STEM research, education, and economic development through competitive capacity building grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Energy (DOE), the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). SD EPSCoR’s mission is to strengthen research and education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across South Dakota to increase science literacy and drive science-based economic development. It is a partnership of the state’s public, private and tribal higher education communities, K-12 education, the state government, and the private sector.
It is from this perspective that Governor Dennis Daugaard tasked the SD EPSCoR Advisory Committee with the responsibility of developing a state-wide science and technology development strategy. The 2020 Vision: The South Dakota Science and Innovation Strategy proposes a set of South Dakota-specific strategies for strengthening basic applied STEM research, aligning workforce development activities with these research strengths and continuing to grow the entrepreneurial culture that is the hallmark of a knowledge-based 21st-century economy.