Hoeven Outlines Latest Developments Towards Growing North Dakota’s Tech Sector

Senator Hosts 2018 State of Technology Conference, Highlights His Priorities to Empower Innovation across Industries

FARGO, N.D. – At his 2018 State of Technology Conference today, Senator John Hoeven outlined the latest developments related to the growth of the technology sector in North Dakota and across the nation. This annual conference, which Hoeven hosts with the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce, is an important part of his efforts to establish the state as a hub of tech entrepreneurship, the third wave in North Dakota’s economic growth. This year’s event included keynote addresses from Linda McMahon, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and Andrei Iancu, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

“The focus on empowering entrepreneurship is a nationwide movement, but we do it best here in North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “Between private investment, the state’s pro-growth business climate and our federal efforts, we are positioned to build on the strong trend of growth in our state’s tech sector. We are getting there by advancing priorities like tax and regulatory relief, broadband infrastructure and STEM education. Making these investments will drive future innovation, whether it’s in our primary industries of agriculture and energy or in new fields like UAS.”

During his remarks, the senator highlighted initiatives from both the public and private sector that will empower new innovations across industries. Hoeven’s priorities include:


Hoeven helped pass comprehensive tax relief for businesses and hardworking families and individuals. Further, he has worked to roll back burdensome regulations. These efforts are empowering companies to invest in their operations, while also putting more money in workers’ pockets, through both higher wages and lower tax rates.


In order to bolster North Dakota’s UAS industry, Hoeven has recently:

  • Secured a five-year extension of the UAS test sites in the FAA reauthorization bill.
  • Secured the state’s role in the FAA’s UAS integration pilot program.
  • Helped introduce and pass the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018.
  • Advanced the first beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight of a UAS without a chase plane by securing a new certificate of authorization for the state’s test site as well as the DASR-11 radar system.
  • Advocated for the administration to utilize Grand Sky and the Northern Plains UAS test site while hosting Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in North Dakota.


As a member of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured the following funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019:

  • $30 million for a carbon capture retrofit project at an existing power plant, for which the second phase of Project Tundra is eligible.
  • $25 million to develop supercritical CO2 technologies for coal and natural gas plants like the Allam Cycle.

Hoeven has also cosponsored the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act. This bipartisan bill will help ensure there is adequate broadband connectivity in rural areas to support the adoption of precision agriculture, which will reduce costs and improve yields.


Through his role as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven helped secure $600 million in FY2018 and $425 million in FY2019 for a new loan and grant program to spur investment in broadband for rural and hard-to-serve areas. Hoeven has also reintroduced his Move America Act, in addition to introducing a bipartisan bill to coordinate all federal efforts to improve and sustain broadband services in rural areas and maximize the impact of federal funding.


Hoeven helped secure the following in FY2019 funding legislation:

  • $1.2 billion for Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, which can be used by all school districts to support STEM education.
  • Dedicated STEM funding within the Education Innovation and Research program.


Hoeven is cosponsoring the Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act. This bill would make portable benefits more accessible for entrepreneurs and provide greater certainty for them and their families. The senator also joined the recently-formed Entrepreneurship Caucus, which works to address the issues facing the nation’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, bolster the creation of startups and increase the capital investment flowing into the U.S.