SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Dakota State University has announced a $90 million initiative to grow the cyber-research industry in the state.

“We will propel South Dakota to be recognized as a key contributor to national security and defense,” DSU president Jose-Marie Griffiths said.

According to a news release, the five-year plan would expand DSU’s Applied Research Lab by adding a facility in Sioux Falls.

The lab, slated to open in the fall of 2025 and support 400-500 full-time jobs, would be owned by the state via the Board of Regents and DSU.

A non-profit would also be established to hire staff and run cybersecurity boot camps for students from other South Dakota universities.

The plan also aims to continue filling 125-150 full-time jobs at DSU’s Applied Research Lab in Madison, increase DSU’s capacity to double the number of graduates from The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences, and launch the Governor’s Cyber Academy.

The academy would offer dual credit programs to high school students across South Dakota.

Governor Kristi Noem says the initiative will keep students in South Dakota.

“That’s exactly what we’re doing here today is ensuring is that we will educate our students here with the highest education possible in this field so they can stay and work here and continue to provide that kind of professional support across the world,” Governor Kristi Noem said.

Senator Mike Rounds says the growing demand for cyber workforce needs to be addressed in the country.

“Making certain our nation has strong cyber security presence is critical in maintaining a safe and secure world,” Senator Mike Rounds said.

The initiative would be funded through a public/private partnership.

$50 million over the course of five years from T. Denny Sanford would be used to construct the Sioux Falls facility.

Sanford Health will donate 10 to 16 acres of land at the Sanford Sports Complex adjacent to Sanford’s future Virtual Care Center.

$10 million of proposed funding from the city of Sioux Falls would be geared toward physical, organizational and programmatic infrastructure needs for the Sioux Falls lab.

Forward Sioux Falls will contribute $250,000 for the planning of a cyber/IT park in Sioux Falls.

$30 million of proposed state funding from Governor Noem’s fiscal year 2023 budget request would help double the number of graduates from The Beacom College and launch the Governor’s Cyber Academy.