From 10-11 June 2024, IEEE-USA will host the Innovation, Workforce and Research Conferences (IWRC), bringing the CHIPS Act to South Dakota with key sponsor Air Force Research Network- Midwest! This two-day event will feature an evening reception on 10 June and a full-day workshop on 11 June in Sioux Falls. The conference promises to unite stakeholders from academia, government, and industry to foster collaboration and drive innovation in the Dakotas and throughout the Midwest.

IWRC offers a forum for experts from various regions and across the country to discuss research grants, technology transfer programs, start-up funding, intellectual property and a host of other topics related to inspiring and empowering true innovation in the Heartland and Delta Regions.

Most importantly, IWRC brings together change-makers from key parts of local economies to meet, learn, talk, and plan as the CHIPS Act comes to your corner of America.

“The IWRC Dakotas Conference is not just about exchanging ideas,” remarked Stacy Manni (Conference Sponsor, Ph.D., Director, Air Force Research Network- Midwest.)  “It’s about catalyzing economic growth and prosperity in the Dakota region. Our network aims to facilitate collaboration across the Midwest and help state and local partners better engage with the federal government.”

Sandra Richardson (Conference Speaker, Ph.D., Section Head, Research Capacity and Competitiveness Section, NSF Office of Integrated Activities) agreed, “By fostering partnerships, leveraging resources, and enhancing the research infrastructure within EPSCoR jurisdictions, we are creating an environment where creativity and innovation flourish in our jurisdictions, and more broadly in businesses throughout the United States.”

The conference agenda also features expert-led discussions on a wide array of topics, including EPSCOR, small business administration, federal partnerships, the future of the South Dakota workforce, partnering with tribal colleges, and more. A fireside chat about AI and the Dakotas will be held with Luke Lindberg (President and CEO, SouthDakota Trade (confirmed), and Dr. José-Marie Griffiths (President, Dakota State University). Participants can also expect engaging break-out sessions on topics such as engaging with the federal government, funding opportunities, utilizing state and local resources, AI, regional economic development, and how the CHIPS Act affects South Dakota and neighboring regions. 

“In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, preparing our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow is paramount. It’s not just about the CHIPS Act, it’s about how it can be harnessed for the greater good. ” (Dennis Hedge, Conference Speaker, PharmD., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, South Dakota State University).

President José-Marie Griffiths of Dakota State University added, “South Dakotans are natural innovators. That is why our universities are stepping up to offer cutting-edge courses to ensure South Dakotans have the jobs of the future, like advanced degrees in Artificial Intelligence we now offer at Dakota State University.”

The IWRC Dakotas Conference invites stakeholders from across the region to join forces and contribute to the growth and prosperity of local innovation economies. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet, learn, talk, and plan for the future success of the Dakota region.

For more information, a full itinerary, and registration details, visit


IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of over 150,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization. 


Leah Laird
Senior Marketing & Communications Specialist, IEEE-USA
202-530-8328 |

John Yaglenski
Director of Communications, IEEE-USA
202-530-8359  |