BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — The National Science Foundation is establishing a Great Plains Innovation Hub as part of its Innovation Corps program.

It’s naming North Dakota State University as the lead institution.

The foundation’s I-Corps Program began in 2011, to help scientists and engineers assess the market potential of research projects.

The Great Plains I-Corps Hub will consist of seven partner institutions from several other Midwestern states.

The University of North Dakota, South Dakota State University, and the University of South Dakota are among them.

“Being able to do that and help these individuals take these great ideas who may not have the background on how to commercialize something and the tools and the mentors,” said David Grewell, department chair for the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department mentioned the mentorships. “These are people who have already done this So why not go ahead and use their skill sets being able to take something a commercialize it.”

The $14 million, five-year grant funding for the project will begin early next year.