FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2015
Mike Wessler, Acting Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444.9725
Kevin McRae, Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education, 444.0327
Havre, Mont.—Governor Steve Bullock today, joined by Chancellor Greg Kegel and Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian, announced over one million dollars in grants for cutting edge research projects taking place at Montana State University-Northern in Havre and Montana State University-Billings. The funding comes from $15 million that Bullock and representatives from Montana’s colleges and universities, secured during the 2015 legislative session. The awards are a part of Montana’s first ever large-scale research initiative. The announcement took place at the Advanced Fuels Building on the campus of MSU-N.
“Today, we’re not only making investments into these research projects, we’re also helping to define what Montana’s economy looks like for years to come,” Bullock said of the award. “The projects, and so many others like them throughout our state, will put people to work and ensure our state continues to be seen as a leader for research and innovation.”
The two projects funded are:
- $800,000 to Montana State University-Northern to advance bio-based chemicals and next-generation fuels from Montana’s agricultural crops;
- And $262,731 to Montana State University-Billings to develop remediation technology for chlorinated pollutants based on a natural product from soil bacteria.
"Montana is looking to MSU Northern researchers to move our state's economy and technology forward," Kegel said. "This is very exciting for Northern and the Hi-Line region. We are up to the challenge and we will deliver."
The effort is called the Montana Research and Economic Development Initiative. All of the selected proposals met one or more of the following criteria: to address a Montana problem; to create Montana jobs in existing economic sectors; or to help spur new companies in Montana. Projects were selected through a competitive process.
"Governor Bullock and the Legislature made a major investment in university-based research to solve Montana problems and create Montana jobs," Christian said. "This research initiative strengthens our local advancement of energy, agriculture, natural-resource development, health and biomedicine for all Montanans."
Through his Main Street Montana Project, Bullock has highlighted nurturing emerging industries and encouraging innovation as a key area of economic growth potential for the state.
Earlier, Bullock and Christian announced similar awards to the University of Montana, Montana State University, and Montana Tech.