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South Dakota’s USD Discovery District announces anchor tenants

Architectural rendering of the completed USD Discovery District.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s USD Discovery District and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development recently announced new anchor tenants to the city’s innovation community.

SAB Biotherapeutics and Alumend will join the Discovery District and bring attention to South Dakota’s rapidly emerging biotech industry.

“Both SAB Biotherapeutics and Alumend are bio-leaders in South Dakota,” said USD President James W. Abbott. “More importantly, they are on the cutting edge in their sectors, developing and commercializing breakthrough, life-saving solutions. They are innovators – exactly the kind of company we want to attract to the USD Discovery District.”

The Discovery District is an 80-acre planned corporate and academic research park adjacent to the University Center in northwest Sioux Falls and will provide access to research facilities and infrastructure for research business development and foster collaboration for the commercialization of new technologies.

“The direct economic impact of the Discovery District, at full build-out, is projected to include 26 privately developed buildings with facility construction value exceeding $314 million, employing almost 2,800 people through companies located in the District,” said Rich Naser, president of the USD Discovery District.

The project is estimated to cost $30.9 and will encompass not only a large multi-tenant research building, but also South Dakota’s first commercial cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) biotherapeutics manufacturing facility.

The GOED is a supporter of the state’s biotech industry and facilitated a financing package to fund the district with state loans and grants, in addition to USD Foundation participation, to provide space for future biotech companies to emerge or relocate to South Dakota.

“[This] announcement is a testament to our significant commitment to the biotech industry, clearing the way for the continued growth of innovation-based businesses,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “Transformational projects like the Discovery District require time and perseverance. I’m proud of the months of careful planning, deliberate actions and patience that have gone into this.”

In all, the project is being made possible by a strategic and financing partnership with the State of South Dakota, the University of South Dakota (USD), the City of Sioux Falls, the Board of Regents and the business community through Forward Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said the USD Discovery District is a great example of collaboration between several groups with an interest in the economic success of the Sioux Falls region.

“The biotech companies based here will impact our community with new jobs for our residents and new recruits to the area, but it’s also going to impact the world with the breakthroughs and the ideas and the products that will come from right here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota,” said TenHaken.

Governor Naser said the goal is to break ground on the district this fall and have the first building completed in 2020.

“This project is three times larger than we anticipated 12 months ago,” said Naser. “It’s a significant milestone to start building in the Discovery District and exciting to have such a large and impactful inaugural project to launch South Dakota’s first innovation community.”

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