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BSU launches new 360-degree center

Bemidji State University's College of Business, Technology and Communication has launched a new institute.

Combining the resources of several existing outreach enterprises on campus, new initiatives have allowed BSU to create the Institute of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The institute will combine the 360-degree Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence, the Northwest Regional Small Business Development Center and its Marketing Assistance and Research Solutions with three new initiatives, the Entrepreneurial Scholarship Pathways, Technology Assistance and Research Solutions and FastTrack Entrepreneurship programs.

Karen White has been named the executive director of the 360-degree institute.

"The Institute of Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation will be a front door for the businesses, entrepreneurs, and technology innovators and high school students in the state of Minnesota and across the region," said James Maxwell, dean of the college.

The institute enables the college to streamline its efforts.

A grant writer will be included in the institute's faculty, which will allow for new revenue streams and help provide professional development opportunities for the college's faculty. College students will also have opportunities to receive hands-on experience and networking opportunities with real-world clients.

The initial reaction to the institute has been positive, Maxwell said.

"There is interest in the need for services like MARS and TARS," he said. "Businesses need assistance with marketing and research, prototyping and design technology. The institute gives our college the opportunity to find out what the market really wants and needs, and it encourages our students to stay in Bemidji and the northern Minnesota region when they graduate from Bemidji State."

For more information about the Institute of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, contact Maxwell at 755-3730 or at

Institute director Karen White can be reached at 755-2208 or via e-mail at

The 360-degree Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence is a partnership of nine institutions led by BSU.

They include Central Lakes College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Northland Community and Technical College, Northwest Technical College, Pine Technical College, Riverland Community College, Saint Paul College and St. Cloud Technical College.

360-degree was initiated by the Governor of Minnesota to strengthen the state's manufacturing economic sector.

Manufacturing and Applied Engineering workers and students will see additions to the 360-degree. At NTC, 360° has introduced four new certificate possibilities online. The programs include: Production Technologies, Machine Technologist, Automation Technologies, and Welding Technology.