Melvin Ustad is director of the South Dakota Office of Commercialization and has extensive experience leading collaborative interdisciplinary public-private research and economic development projects. Ustad also served as acting and interim vice president for research at the University of South Dakota, director of the South Dakota SBIR Center, and worked for U.S. Senator Larry Pressler. He has served or currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Small Business High Technology Institute, National Network for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (N2TEC) Executive Committee, Genesis of Innovation, Enterprise Institute, South Dakota Science and Technology Council, Forward Sioux Falls Technology Accelerator, and several technology based business boards. Ustad has led a $1.6 million National Science Foundation Information Technology Research project and a $600,000 National Science Foundation statewide Partnership for Innovation project. Ustad has also lead a four-state regional U.S. Department of Commerce EPSCoT project, Project SBIR West projects supported by the U.S. West Foundation, a Coleman Foundation Entrepreneurship project, and two National Collegiate Innovators and Inventors Alliance projects.

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