« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Cali Owings, Published September 25 2013

NDSU, Cogi partnership expected to bring 20 jobs to Fargo

FARGO – North Dakota State University is working with a California-based technology company to develop smartphone applications, a partnership that could bring about 20 jobs to Fargo.

NDSU will continue its partnership with Cogi Inc., the company behind technology to track and record verbal communication from daily conversations and meetings, Philip Boudjouk, the school’s vice president for research, announced Wednesday.

Their research and development agreement is part of North Dakota’s Centers of Excellence program, which pairs teams at research universities in the state with private-sector partners.

The partnership works through the state-funded Center for Sensors, Communications and Control at NDSU, established in January 2011. Companies in the program match $2 for every grant dollar provided by the state.

Boudjouk said the relationship with Cogi is an “enormous value” to NDSU because it allows the school to fulfill one of its primary missions as a land-grant institution by enhancing economic opportunities in the state.

“If you’re not growing your intellectual platform, you’re shrinking,” he said.

A team of NDSU developers has worked with Cogi on software applications for about a year, said Mark Noah, the team lead for NDSU.

Noah convinced Mark Cromack, Cogi’s president, to work with the school after the pair met more than two decades ago at an industry conference in California.

Cromack considered other partners before NDSU. He decided the technical skills available at the school and in the area, and the state incentives available through Centers of Excellence, would be a good fit with the company. He said the company expects to expand its presence in Fargo.

Cogi is scouting for office space, Cromack said, and projections indicate Cogi will add at least 20 new jobs in the area over the next several years.

Noah oversees about four developers. He said as development continues, additional students or recent graduates could be hired to assist them.

Under the new research agreement, NDSU and Cogi will partner for about one year, Noah said.

Cogi app at a glance

The expanded partnership corresponds with the launch of Cogi’s new Android application, which Cromack demonstrated Wednesday.

The program allows users to “capture moments” in a meeting, lecture or conversation that they want to review later, Cromack said.

Users can capture audio, images and video, and access their notes.

Because people realize an important point after it’s been made, the software caches information so users can record several seconds of audio from before they hit the “record” button, Cromack said.

The company plans to expand the capabilities of its software to other mobile apps, including one for iPhones, and web-based platforms.

The Android app is available in the Google Play store.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Cali Owings at (701) 241-5599