Accelerating innovation and economic growth: Minnesota’s industry hub designations

Accelerating innovation and economic growth: Minnesota’s industry hub designations Main Photo

20 Mar 2024

Minnesota’s recent industry hub designations are propelling the state to the forefront of innovation and economic growth. These designations, such as the Clean Hydrogen Hub, the Med-Tec 3.0 Hub and the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Hub, recognize Minnesota’s leadership and offer significant benefits to businesses, investors and electric cooperatives in the state. They provide a platform for collaboration, innovation and investment, driving job creation and economic growth. These recognitions position Minnesota as a hub for cutting-edge technology and sustainable practices, attracting talent and investment from around the globe.

Minnesota’s Clean Hydrogen Hub designation is a catalyst for green energy transformation

Minnesota’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (H2Hubs) designation will revolutionize the region’s energy landscape. As an H2Hub, it will kickstart a national network of clean hydrogen producers, consumers and connective infrastructure while supporting clean hydrogen production, storage, delivery, and end-use. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the H2Hubs will accelerate the commercial-scale deployment of clean hydrogen, helping to generate clean, dispatchable power; create a new form of energy storage; and decarbonize heavy industry and transportation.

In conjunction with other hubs, Minnesota will contribute to the reduction of 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from end-users each year — an amount roughly equivalent to combined annual emissions of 5.5 million gasoline-powered cars — and create good-paying jobs across the state while supporting healthier communities.

Additionally, the Heartland Hydrogen Hub — spanning Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota — aims to leverage the region’s abundant energy resources to help decarbonize the agricultural sector’s fertilizer production and decrease the regional cost of clean hydrogen. It also proposes to use clean hydrogen for power generation, catalyzing co-firing hydrogen in utility-owned generation across the country. The Heartland Hydrogen Hub anticipates creating upwards of 3,880 direct jobs — 3,067 in construction and 703 permanent jobs.

Minnesota’s Med-Tec 3.0 Hub is helping pioneer healthcare innovation

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Med-Tec 3.0 Hub designation acknowledges Minnesota’s healthcare and medical technology excellence. This designation will accelerate technological innovation and position Minnesota as a global medical technology and healthcare center. With federal support, Minnesota’s hospitals, research institutions and medical device manufacturers will integrate cutting-edge technology, data science and device manufacturing, accelerating growth for businesses, investors and electric cooperatives.

Minnesota is home to the World's #1 Health Tech Cluster, and it ranks 1st in medical device patents per capita. Additionally, Minnesota leads the nation in cumulative pre-market approvals granted by the FDA.

To further bolster these achievements, Minnesota MedTech 3.0, led by the GREATER MSP Partnership, will bring together important healthcare industries in Minnesota to integrate new technologies, data science expertise and device manufacturing to position the state as a leader in medical technology and healthcare

Designated Tech Hubs, like Minnesota MedTech 3.0, are now eligible to apply for funding for the next phase of the Tech Hubs Program. Minnesota MedTech 3.0 hub, along with the other hubs across the country, can access up to $75 million in potential funding. This program is designed to drive regional technology- and innovation-centric growth by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize and deploy critical technologies while creating local jobs for workers at all skill levels.

Fueling the future with the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Hub designation

Minnesota’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel Hub (SAF) status is set to transform the aviation industry. The Minnesota SAF Hub coalition aims to scale the production of sustainable aviation fuel, ultimately reducing the carbon intensity of air travel. This initiative will create jobs; support a robust SAF production infrastructure; and position Minnesota as a leader in sustainable aviation, attracting investment and driving economic growth.

The goals of the SAF Hub in Minnesota start with scaling up the production of sustainable aviation fuel and its corresponding sectors. These goals encompass immediate actions to bring SAF into Minnesota, engage producers and expand the coalition. The next phase focuses on starting jet fuel production and incorporating regenerative agricultural practices.

Looking ahead, the coalition aims to maximize scale and greenhouse gas reductions through advanced technologies like Power-to-Liquid, a new alternative fuel production pathway from renewable energy sources, water and carbon dioxide. These goals align with Minnesota’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, positioning the state as a sustainable aviation fuel production leader.

Industry hub designations are driving economic growth and job creation in Minnesota

Minnesota’s hub designations are more than mere accolades; they are powerful catalysts for innovation, job creation and economic prosperity. These designations are poised to benefit businesses, investors and electric cooperatives across Minnesota, positioning the state as a hub for pioneering innovation and sustainable growth. By attracting investment and fostering collaboration, these designations are paving the way for a vibrant economic landscape that thrives on innovation and sustainability, benefitting the entire community and ensuring a prosperous future for Minnesota.