Nanotechnology in North Dakota, USA: Market Report

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Nanotechnology Research and Education
Recent Developments


North Dakota is located the Midwestern region of the United States of America. It covers a total area of 183,272 km2, and has a population of 699,628 as of 2012.

The state’s GDP in 2011 was $40.3 billion, of which the largest contributors are the mining and agriculture industries.

North Dakota is gaining a reputation for supporting emerging businesses, entrepreneurs and expansions. New businesses are being attracted by the growth of the state's manufacturing technology-based businesses that are fostered by government incentives.

While manufacturing has declined in most US states since 2000, this industry sector has expanded in North Dakota and now accounts for 10% of their GDP. This has been aided in part by the Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership which has been designed to help local manufacturers become more competitive on the world stage. The Centers of Excellence program has also been established to help strengthen North Dakota's manufacturing and technology-based businesses.

The state is also committed to building a strong business climate which in turn fosters higher paying jobs, workforce development and promotes entrepreneurship and innovation.

Nanotechnology Research and Education

Some of the leading academic institutes in North Dakota offering courses and research programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology are listed below:

North Dakota State University - is a public university located in Fargo. The following are nanotech initiatives of the North  Dakota State University:

  • Materials and Nanotechnology Program- is an interdisciplinary Graduate Program spanning several Colleges and Centers. PhD and Master’s degrees are offered.
  • Center For Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) –  offers research and development with world-class facilities, equipment and staff with broad-based expertise. The following are some of their research core competencies:
    • Bioactive Materials
    • Combinatorial Science
    • Corrosion Protection
    • Electronics Miniaturization
    • Flexible Electronics and Materials
    • Hard Coatings
    • Wireless Sensors & RFID

North Dakota Sate College of Science –  is a college offering two-year degrees, certificates and diplomas in over 80 academic options including courses in nanoscience technology. The following is a nanotech initiative of the North Dakota Sate College of Science:

  • Center for Nanoscience Training Technologyoffers workforce development and industry training opportunities for initial skill development, technical upgrading, and professional growth of incumbent workers.

Recent Developments

In January 2012, a research team from the North Dakota State University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) discovered that the flexibility and durability of carbon nanotube films and coatings are closely connected to their electronic properties. Their research work could be essential for creating flexible electronic devices such as solar cells and wearable sensors and can be a breakthrough in the nanotechnology sector of North Dakota.

There have not been any other reports of nanotechnology developments in recent times, thus it seems reasonable to assume that, while North Dakota is active in promoting nanotechnology through education, the amount of research and other nano-related activity in this state is quite small, despite their best efforts to attract high-tech businesses to the state.


  1. United States Census Bureau - North Dakota Quick Facts
  2. Widespread Economic Growth Across States in 2011 (PDF)
  3. North Dakota - GDP
  4. North Dakota - Target Industries
  5. North Dakota - Advanced Manufacturing
  6. North Dakota - Technology-Based Businesses


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