INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 22, 2013, 12:46 PM

Study: Economic impact of UND research drops

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The University of North Dakota's research activities had a smaller effect on the economy this year than in years past, according to a study by the school in Grand Forks.

By: Associated Press, WDAY

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The University of North Dakota's research activities had a smaller effect on the economy this year than in years past, according to a study by the school in Grand Forks.

The Grand Forks Herald reports that after several years of steady growth, UND reported its research programs had a $202 million impact on the regional, state and local economy in fiscal year 2013. That's down from $244 million in fiscal year 2012, or about 17 percent.

UND officials cite changes in how the federal government appropriates funding for projects and the general uncertainty over the federal budget the past few years as reasons for that decline.

"The fiscal crisis in the country and the squabbles in Congress certainly had a contribution to issues for universities across the country," said Phyllis Johnson, UND's vice president for research and economic development. She said lawmakers' decision to end earmarks, or direct funds for specific projects inserted into appropriations bills, has made it more difficult to get federal funding.

Most of UND's research impacts come from "spending the available dollars on the purchase of goods and services such as laboratory supplies or the hiring of students or technicians," according to the report prepared by David Flynn, chairman of the Department of Economics at UND.

Instances of indirect or induced impacts include purchases from sponsored programs and purchases made by people whose income was generated by those programs.

The drop in the economic impact figure can also be at least partly explained by a decrease in UND's research expenditures this year.

According to Flynn's report, UND spent almost $104 million on sponsored research programs in fiscal year 2013, down from the $119 million it spent in 2012.

Tags: