Economic Development

Inventing Tomorrow . . .

Research is key to the success of tomorrow.   Student researchers, scientists and our award-winning faculty make incredible breakthroughs in science and engineering every day at the School of Mines.  Our job is to move their research out of the lab and make it a part of solving real-world problems in business, industry, and beyond. 

The intellectual property generated is a valuable resource and asset for our university.  Starting with the invention disclosure, we handle all aspects of protecting and commercializing this intellectual property, commonly referred to as IP. The Office of Economic Development will evaluate the disclosure, research it’s market potential and work to license the technology to industry or assist in creating a University start-up. 

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has one of the most generous royalty policies in the country for university inventors and a dedicated team to see that reaches it potential.

You can contact the Office of Economic Development at (605) 394-5168 or email

Our Mission

To effectively commercialize SD Mines technologies in to the market so as to generate benefits for the University, the community and the general public. We strive to assist faculty, students and other academic personnel to engage in entrepreneurial activities and transition scientific and technological innovations.

What We Do

  • Invention Disclosure Facilitation - We work with researchers and faculty to provide advice about potential intellectual property issues during research activities and to assist in the invention reporting process.
  • IP Support - We provide advice on policies & procedures regarding matters of intellectual property.
  • Patenting and Protection - We provide guidance in planning an effective patent, copyright, or trademark strategy and handle all implementation details during the protection stage.
  • Start-up Assistance - We provide proactive assistance in analyzing potential opportunities to form a start-up based upon SD Mines technology and encourage this interaction during the early invention reporting process.
  • Commercialization of Technology - We assist in technical and market assessments and actively market SD Mines technologies to industry partners. We create non-disclosure, material transfer, collaboration and license agreements with these industry partners to effectively get our technology into commercial use.
  • Competitive Entrepreneurial Opportunity (CEO) - The CEO program, a student business plan competition is a comprehensive, semester long program that immerses students in learning to draft a business plan and present that plan at a pitch competition for cash awards. The CEO program hosts a number of workshops focused on opportunity identification and introducing students to business concepts and the contents of a typical business plan.
  • Engineers Make Great Entrepreneurs (EMGE) - In partnership with the SD Mines Foundation, we co-host this six-week long event that begins in August and runs through September. EMGE introduces SD Mines students to entrepreneurship as a potential career choice. The program features presentations by a number of successful entrepreneurs and culminates with students pitching their business ideas for prize money.
  • Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) Program - The EIR program has over 25 highly successful entrepreneurs and business people in the entirely voluntary program. These EIRs offer their time to support the pop-up class program, where a number of EIRs give guest lectures on entrepreneurship, business formation, trend analysis, team building and IP in classes all around campus, they also volunteer for start-up weekend, innovation expo, CEO, EMGE, and a number of other entrepreneurial efforts run out of the Office of Economic Development.

Why It's Important

  • Commercialization efforts often lead to expanded university research opportunities.  
  • Activities lead to valuable educational experiences for students which augment classroom teachings.
  • Technology commercialization creates job opportunities for graduates, and positive economic development for the community, the state and the general public.