Grand Forks companies receive funding for technology advancement

Oct. 31—Three Grand Forks-based companies are among the recipients of the most recent round of state funding supporting technology advancement.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce's Innovation Loan Technology Fund, called LIFT, made the announcement in an Oct. 28 release. The LIFT committee awarded $3.8 million to four North Dakota Companies.

The LIFT program was authorized by the Legislature in 2019, and $15 million was appropriated for it in 2021. Of that amount, $7.3 million have been awarded to North Dakota companies. The LIFT committee meets monthly to vet applications to the program. Once that has been done those companies are invited to pitch their technology ideas to the committee. Unless expended, funding for the program runs through 2023, at which point it may be renewed.

Businesses can find information about eligibility and the application process at

Locally, companies that received funding include:

First-i LLC, which is developing a tethered drone-in-a-box system. The company received $150,000, with a $2 non-LIFT match for every dollar of LIFT award. The funding may be released in $50,000 increments as the match requirement is met.

Mobile Recon Systems, which received $400,000. The funds come with a match requirement of $1 for every dollar of LIFT award. The company is developing higher payload drones. Funding may be released in $50,000 increments as the match requirement is met.

SafetySpect, which received $1.25 million. The company is developing technology to identify and decontaminate invisible organic residues and biological and viral threats.