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U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Provide High-Speed Research Computing for Business Growth in South Dakota Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.46 million grant to Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, to help establish a high speed research network. The investment, located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1.46 million in local funds.


“The Trump Administration is continuing to work diligently to bring new opportunities for growth to Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zones and ensure our businesses have the resources they need to grow and prosper,” said Secretary Ross. “DSU’s new high-speed network will help deliver secure research to accommodate new and established private sector startups and partners.”

“I thank the Trump Administration for this strategic investment in Dakota State University,” said Senator Rounds. “This high-speed network will give students, faculty and staff of the MadLabs facility excellent research opportunities in computer science, cyber operations and digital forensics. These are fields where jobs are in high demand. This grant is a product of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s Opportunity Zones. It will help to make sure DSU remains a top choice school for students seeking an excellent education that will prepare them to be future leaders in these vital fields. I thank Secretary Ross for awarding DSU with this grant.”


The project will procure research computing equipment for two projects: The Madison CyberLabs (MadLabs), an $18 million, 40,000 square foot development that will house applied research projects for faculty, researchers, students and corporate partners; and for the Heartland Technology Center, a business incubator housing DSU spin-off companies, startup companies relying on the expertise of DSU students and other affiliated organizations or corporate partners. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the First District Association of Local Governments. EDA funds the First District Association of Local Governments to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.


The funding announced today goes to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, which provides special incentives for further private sector participation and development. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zone designations spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, read our blog post.