Hoeven Hosts Seventh Annual State of Technology Conference, Continues Advancing New Connections to Spark Innovation in North Dakota's Tech Sector

FARGO, N.D. – At the 2017 State of Technology Conference today, Senator John Hoeven drove home how technological innovations are reaching all corners of North Dakota, acting as the third wave in the state’s economic growth and creating opportunities in both emerging and traditional industries. Hoeven stressed that North Dakota continues to see growth in local, high-tech products and services, like CoSchedule and uCodeGirl. CoSchedule is currently the fastest-growing startup in the state, with more than 8,000 customers in over 100 counties, and uCodeGirl helps inspire the next generation of tech leaders by providing tech education and enrichment for young women.

At the same time, the emphasis on technological development is bringing new opportunities to the state’s core industries of agriculture and energy as well. Specifically, this year’s conference showcased the work of the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota (UND), which is advancing carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects to reduce emissions for both traditional and renewable energy sources. This includes the development of commercially-viable clean coal technologies like Project Tundra and the Allam Cycle, as well as efforts like Red Trail Energy’s project to reduce the emissions from its ethanol plant in Richardton. As a member of the Senate Energy and Energy Appropriations Committees, Hoeven continues his efforts to support these efforts and ensure the final Fiscal Year 2018 funding bill provides adequate funding for CCS programs. 

“North Dakota continues to see innovation that cuts across sectors – unmanned aerial systems, energy development, education and e-commerce, among many others,” Hoeven said. “The rise of our technology sector comes from the business climate and entrepreneurial culture we have worked to build, and its potential impacts are limitless. That means more opportunities in more communities for investment, growth and good jobs.”

Hoeven hosts his State of Technology Conference with the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce each year to highlight breakthrough technologies and the local innovators creating them. The conference has served as a catalyst for new innovation and investment in the state. For example, c2renew and Protosthetics, two companies Hoeven invited to present at the 2015 conference, announced earlier this month that they have entered into an exclusive contract to bring a brand new 3D printing filament to market. The new product will give Protosthetics the ability to design and produce even stronger and more refined 3D printed prosthetics, unlike anything currently on the market.

Further, the conference gave rise to the Dakota Fiber Initiative (DFI), which has resulted in measurable advancements in broadband infrastructure across North Dakota. Just yesterday, Hoeven joined Midco to help break ground for the company’s new Tier III data center, the first of its kind in the region. The new facility will serve as important tech infrastructure for the state, help attract companies from around the country and brings Midco’s investments in the Fargo region to more than $200 million following its buildout of gigabit internet infrastructure, which Hoeven helped announce in 2014.

Hoeven works as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee to support programs that complement these private investments and ensure high-speed internet access throughout rural America, which has served as an important part of DFI’s success.