The University of Montana will have nearly $4 million dollars in research money over the next two years to help those with traumatic brain injuries, and to develop automated water testing equipment.

Governor Steve Bullock, Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian and UM President Royce Engstrom addressed a sizable crowd on Tuesday morning at the Skaggs College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences Building.

Board of Regents spokesman Kevin McRae said the grants to both the University of Montana and Montana State University will total nearly $15 million, set aside by the 2015 Montana Legislature for practical research that will lead to jobs and economic growth.

"$2.2 million in state funding will go to a number of researchers at the University of Montana to develop therapeutic interventions for traumatic brain injury survivors," McRae said. "The other funding is for a water quality project with approximately $1.3 million dollars awarded to support automated chemical and biological instrumentation for water quality monitoring."

Governor Bullock praised the institutions of higher education for their efforts to bring forth quantifiable results within the next two years.

"The time to invest in the research of tomorrow is now," said Bullock. "We know there are going to be made-in-Montana solutions the the commissioner suggests will not only address some of the challenges that we have in our state, but indeed, challenges that we have across the country and I dare say, around the world."

Bullock said the successes achieved by the state's investment will bear fruit into the next legislative session.

"One of the great things about the way this is structured is that there's an expectation that we're actually seeing results in two years," he said. "So, we can go back to the next legislative session and say 'look at the $15 million dollars we invested. Not only are these incredible projects, but look at what's coming out of them'."

The winning projects were selected from more than 200 proposals statewide. Two UM projects were selected for funding through a competitive process by an advisory panel composed of state legislators and industry and university-system representatives.