The base of research and development activity in Fargo Moorhead is solid and growing. The private sector and academia engage in an impressive array of R&D aimed at using cutting edge technology to make the world better and our lives easier. Companies benefit from business-focused public policy, such as the most generous R&D tax credit in the nation, and Fargo Moorhead’s educated and dedicated workforce.

Fargo Moorhead is becoming a hot-bed of private sector research and development in the area of smart technologies and embedded systems. Businesses such as Bobcat, Echelon, Intelligent InSites, John Deere Electronic Solutions, Microsoft and Packet Digital are pushing the envelope to find new ways to conserve energy, cut costs in the supply-chain and make farm and construction equipment more efficient and user-friendly. The importance of smart technology will continue to increase as the shift to environmentally-friendly public policy becomes even stronger.

The cornerstone of academic research in Fargo Moorhead is North Dakota State University (NDSU), a land-grant research institution. The National Science Foundation has ranked NDSU 42nd among 517 research universities without a medical school. The university’s professors are well known for their research in biotechnology, chemistry, and biocidal/antimicrobial polymers and coatings. The university benefits from partnerships with government agencies that fund research in the energy, defense and agricultural industries.

Partnerships between the private sector and the universities spark mutual benefits. Businesses gain access to state-of-the-art equipment and top-notch minds while students, faculty, and researchers develop their skills and advance the body of knowledge in their respective fields. It is a perfect combination and a key reason for Moody’s ranking as the most economically vital metropolitan area in the United States.

Learn more about the community’s capabilities in the growth sectors of information technology, physical sciences, and life sciences below.

Information Technology

Fargo Moorhead has evolved into a global destination for software development, embedded systems and smart technologies — and we aren’t slowing down.

We have all the ingredients for starting or expanding an information technology (IT) company:

  • Intelligent, innovative, and committed workforce
  • Sophisticated, reliable and redundant telecommunications infrastructure and support
  • A growing cluster of IT companies that fosters synergistic, intellectual-based sharing and cooperation
  • Pro-business government bolstered by a low-cost business environment
  • The Center for Computationally Assisted Science & Technology (CCAST) at North Dakota State University, which provides scientific computational resources to the NDSU research community and its partners to enable new discovery. Its specifications include a 96-node/192 processor distributed-memory Cluster, SGI Altix 3300 shared-memory Server, and a Oracle Server. Exciting research has been conducted by a wide range of university faculty, students and corporate partners, including: development of DataMINE, a data mining software system; performance of quantum chemical calculations; and multiscale and three-dimensional modeling.

High-Tech IT Cluster

More than 60 software development, software-as-a-service, and telecommunications companies are located and growing in Fargo Moorhead. They include:

Fargo Moorhead also has the proper intellectual infrastructure of local and regional colleges and universities to educate an information technology workforce.

Degree Program # of Students Enrolled 2010-2011
Computer Science 611
Management Information Systems (MIS) 154
Software Engineering 67
Mathematics 273
Electrical Engineering 308
Total 1,413
Physical Sciences

For strategic advantages in physical sciences-related industries, Fargo Moorhead provides:

  • North Dakota State University’s College of Engineering & Architecture, which produces more than 300 engineering graduates per year in a variety of engineering fields.
  • The Center for Surface Protection, which draws on the expertise of the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials to develop, test and deliver new, market-driven hard and soft coatings and solutions for industry partners.
  • The Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering (CNSE) at North Dakota State University, an interdisciplinary research facility specializing in electronics miniaturization, microsensors, coatings and combinatorial materials research for both private and public sector clients and partners. The Center for Advanced Electronics Design and Manufacturing (CAEDM), a component of CNSE, develops, tests and delivers market-driven electronics, wireless sensors and electronic packaging.
  • The Combinatorial Lab at North Dakota State University, one of the best equipped high-throughput laboratories in the world in the area of combinatorial materials science, especially in the areas of polymer synthesis and coating formulation. A component of CNSE, the Combinatorial Lab is leading the way in developing new materials for coatings and designing methods for development, analysis and large-scale production. With cutting-edge robotics equipment and control software, scientists can generate and test up to 300 samples in one day, cutting experiment times from weeks to days.
  • Two-year technician programs in nanoscience, microelectronics, and biofuels technologies.
  • A state-funded Centers of Excellence initiative that provides financial assistance to enable innovative collaborations between university researchers and the private sector.

Electronics, Sensors, Coatings, Renewable Materials Cluster

An ever-expanding cluster of companies operating in the physical sciences sector are making Fargo Moorhead their home. They include:

Fargo Moorhead also has the proper intellectual infrastructure of local and regional colleges and universities to educate an information technology workforce.

Degree Area Students Enrolled 2010 – 2011
Electrical Engineering 308
Mechanical Engineering 569
Coatings & Polymeric Materials 29
Physics 113
Chemistry 255
Totals 1,274
Life Sciences

Fargo Moorhead can provide your life science business the conditions it needs to succeed: top-notch universities conducting core research, medical research facilities to carry it further, and private biotechnology companies that apply new knowledge in useful products and services.

Our companies and universities are breaking new ground by leveraging an expanding knowledge base and the value of industry clustering. With their innovation and drive, Fargo Moorhead’s low cost of doing business, collaborative government, and an intelligent, dedicated workforce, they’re injecting new life into their life science-based businesses.

  • Concordia College Global Vaccine Institute performs research and development in vaccine design and pre-clinical trials, focusing on neglected tropical diseases such as hookworm.
  • The Center for Protease Research, which is a multidisciplinary research center focusing on matrix metalloproteinases to help combat diseases.
  • The Center for Visual Neuroscience, which is home to two state-of-the-art EEG laboratories conducting electrical brain-imaging experiments.
  • University settings where undergraduate as well as graduate students are the focus in research experiences, gaining hands-on experience with advanced diagnostic and analytic equipment.
  • Specialized life sciences educational curriculum which includes techniques such as QA/QC methods which provide a realistic research experience that is designed to meet the needs of biotechnology companies.
  • Access to the benefits of the Minnesota Biotechnology & Health Sciences Zone.

Industry Cluster

A growing cluster of life sciences-focused companies are already conducting profitable business in Fargo Moorhead. They include:

Fargo Moorhead also has the proper intellectual infrastructure of local and regional colleges and universities to educate an life science workforce.

Degree Area Students Enrolled 2008-2009
Ag & Biosystems Engineering 57
Biology & Biological Sciences 475
Biotechnology 33
Microbiology 106
Pharmaceutical Sciences 116
Pharmacy (Doctorate) 347
Total 1134