PIERRE - A report presented to the South Dakota Board of Regents says the Governor's Research Centers are meeting their goals of spurring competitive research and converting ideas into commercial endeavors.

The South Dakota Legislature first funded the research centers in 2004 at the request of then-Gov. Mike Rounds.

Regents Vice President of Research and Economic Development Paul Turman says South Dakota has traditionally lagged behind other states in competitive research. He says funding of the Governor's Research Centers has helped generate research that can provide economic benefits to the state.

The report says 11 different research centers have been established over the years, but most have graduated to other sources of financing. The state currently funds five Governor's Research Centers. One works to produce high-purity germanium crystals for underground physics experiments.

The Regents committee also endorsed a plan to create a training academy that could result in bringing 1,000 new tech jobs to South Dakota.

Minnesota-based Eagle Creek Software Services announced last month it wanted to bring 1,000 information technology consultant jobs to South Dakota. The company plans to build a new project center in Vermillion and partner with the University of South Dakota to help train potential employees.

USD will work in consultation with Dakota State University to create the academy and offer customized courses.

Paul Turman is the regents' vice president of research and economic development. He says the partnership is an exciting opportunity for South Dakota and its universities.

Finally. the South Dakota Board of Regents honored a regent who is retiring after 18 years.

James Hansen was given an honorary Doctorate of Public Service for his work in South Dakota on Wednesday. In addition to his nearly two decades on the Board of Regents, Hansen has spent time as a K-12 educator and served as secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education.

While on the Board of Regents, Hansen has served as secretary, vice president and president.

Regents president Kathryn Johnson says Hansen has always been a strong advocate for students.

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