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September 15, 2004 :: State Regents’ Grants Will Help Support Economic Development Efforts in State

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Several state colleges and universities will soon be the beneficiaries of economic development and research grants that could ultimately generate new companies and create more jobs in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recently approved grants totaling nearly $2 million for projects and programs aimed at improving Oklahoma’s economy. State Regents will allocate the funds to 11 state system institutions throughout the current fiscal year. Grant amounts range from $4,800 to $310,000.

“Our public colleges and universities play such a vital role in shaping our state’s economy, and I am pleased that our institutions are stepping up to the plate as economic development leaders in our state,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “These grants should help spur economic growth in the areas in and around the institutions.”

Two of the largest grant awards will go to Cameron University, Lawton, and Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.

CU will receive a $300,000 grant that will be applied toward its new Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies. School officials hope to use the funds to create and develop advanced technology companies and capabilities in southwest Oklahoma. OSU will receive $200,000 for its Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center for expansion of the center’s many services to more Oklahoma food industry businesses. The center offers small and large businesses and entrepreneurs access to its faculty and staff’s expertise.

In addition, the State Regents approved the continuation of funding commitments from previous awards, including $310,000 in support of the Center for Rural Economic Development at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, and $150,000 for continued support of the Southeastern Oklahoma Economic Development Network, a collaborative effort among Murray State College, Tishomingo; Eastern Oklahoma State College, Wilburton; Carl Albert State College, Poteau; and Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant.

“These grants will be supporting very worthwhile activities and projects associated with economic development, research and quality,” State Regents Chairman Jimmy Harrel said. “The State Regents are committed to ensuring that our public colleges and universities are ready, willing and able to help our state meet its economic goals and objectives in the 21st century.”