SDSU Research Park to mark decade of service

SDSU Marketing & Communications photo The annual Innovation Celebration on Friday will honor the 10-year anniversary of the Research Park at South Dakota State University.

Innovation Celebration slated for Friday

BROOKINGS – The Research Park at South Dakota State University has worked with more than 100 companies since its inception in 2008. 

Those entities include startups, South Dakota State University students and faculty, virtual clients, coworking and established businesses. The Brookings Innovation Center has provided and continues to provide resources to help companies grow and succeed. 

The park will hold its annual Innovation Celebration Dec. 7 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Brookings Innovation Center. The event is open to the public. Company and student of the year awards will be announced at 5 p.m. and Sen. Mike Rounds will deliver a keynote address at 5:30 p.m. in honor of its 10-year anniversary.

Location, access to products and available space were key factors in Novita Nutrition’s decision to move to the Brookings Innovation Center in May 2012.

“The Research Park played a key role in the success of Novita,” said Novita founder Don Endres. “As a startup company, the staff and board of directors provided the ‘power of place’ for us to really kick-start our business. The new business startup package provided Novita programming and incentives to assist in our development. We are a prime example of what the focus of the park’s original partners imagined that it could be, a place where industry and university research can become a viable commercialized innovation.”

The Novita team quickly grew to 50 employees as construction was completed on its first production facility, Novita Aurora. The $95 million project was completed in June 2017 and is located 2 miles east of Brookings. Novita’s headquarters remain in the Brookings Innovation Center.

Solus LED, a lighting solutions company, was looking to expand into South Dakota when it arrived at the park in August 2015. 

Solus graduated from the Brookings Innovation Center in May 2017 to a 1,200-square-foot space in downtown Brookings.

During its stay at the Brookings Innovation Center, Solus LED signed its 50th hotel customer. 

The goal was to get to 48 by October 2016, but shortly after locating at the BIC, Solus exceeded that goal with customers in Brookings, Watertown and Sioux Falls.

“The BIC provided me with not only an amazing location and address, but the tools I needed to grow and market my company. Hands down, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve success this fast trying to do this at home or in a space with limited resources,” said Tony Bianchi-Rossi, who was Solus LED’s vice president of sales for the firm’s west region before starting his own lighting solution company, DakotaLux, which is based in Brookings.

For more information on the Research Park at South Dakota State University or its upcoming event, visit or call 696-5600.