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U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $500,000 Supporting Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Delaware Technology Park’s Expansion on STAR Campus

The U.S. Department of Commerce, through the Economic Development Administration (EDA), will invest approximately $500,000 over the next three years in support of entrepreneurship and high wage job creation in the region. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Jay Williams made the announcement at a grand opening ceremony for Delaware Technology Park’s new laboratory incubator on Friday at the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus.

EDA’s investment will support the 10,000-square-foot laboratory and office facility with shared support services. Named [email protected], entrepreneurs have access to the resources needed to start and grow their businesses including:

  • Proof of concept laboratories
  • Collaboration space
  • Business advisory services
  • Analytical equipment
  • Laboratory support services

“The U.S. Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities and regions realize their locally-devised plans to support job-creating innovators and entrepreneurs,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams. “We are proud of our investment to help establish this new University of Delaware laboratory facility and we applaud all of the regional stakeholders who played a role in bringing this project to fruition for their collaborative efforts.”

[email protected] addresses the challenging financial, space and programmatic needs of early stage entrepreneurs and includes access to University of Delaware (UD) assets, faculty and students. UD’s Spin In® program will be housed in the incubator. Spin In® connects student teams with selected entrepreneurial companies. Together they develop products with commercial potential.

[email protected] represents the very best of an academic, public and private partnership to further technology and economic development by support of early stage companies with growth potential,” said Delaware Technology Park President Mike Bowman. “EDA’s investment will further assist the State of Delaware in building future economic resilience based on its strong technology workforce.”

The University of Delaware is a land-grant institution, and as such, economic development is a central element of UD’s mission, University President Dennis Assanis said. “The University of Delaware is committed to fostering a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout our campus and our state. The STAR Campus is an essential element in that effort, and the EDA investment in [email protected] will help fuel our region’s economic engine for years to come,” he said.

Some of Delaware’s elected officials had high praise for the venture. Here’s what they had to say:

U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) said, “Earlier this month, I had a chance to see the work going on at the Delaware Technology Park’s new laboratories, and it was exciting to see how Delaware is leveraging federal funds to support entrepreneurship and innovation. Delaware has a long history of developing amazing products, technologies and life-saving drugs, and it all starts with a nurturing environment – like this new lab – for exciting breakthroughs to happen.”

U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) said, “This is wonderful news for Delaware and for the Delaware Technology Park. Attracting gifted entrepreneurs and innovators requires capital investments and that's just what this nearly half-million dollar investment will do - continue to show that the STAR Campus, and now the [email protected] labs will have the space, resources and support services needed to grow, create and innovate in Newark."

Congressman John Carney (D-Del.) said, "Science, technology, and innovation have been at the center of economic development in our state for generations. This new incubator is the next step forward in ensuring Delaware can compete in these industries and develop a workforce ready for the 21st century. It leverages the remarkable talent we have at the University of Delaware, the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, and organizations throughout the state. And it charts a new path to commercialize groundbreaking technology and research, build successful companies, and create jobs. This is a tremendous investment in the future of our state, and I'm excited for the opportunities it will create."

Delaware Governor Jack Markell said, "When the Great Recession hit and Chrysler was shutting its doors, we had little certainty about the future of this site, which had for so long been a key engine of Delaware's economy. Thanks to the leadership of so many people involved in this event. Today, the STAR Campus is a vital cog in our innovation economy and is helping to support Delaware's region - leading job growth. Phase two of that development and the opening of Delaware Technology Park’s incubator lab is another important milestone for attracting exciting research here, while building on our state's economic progress."

About Delaware Technology Park

Delaware Technology Park (DTP) is an award winning, non-profit research park, providing development-stage life science, information technology, advanced materials and renewable energy companies with access to the resources and connections needed to drive and accelerate their economic success. DTP welcomed its first company in 1992 and since its inception has housed more than 75 companies, including 25 companies that have matured and graduated from the Park. DTP has helped create more than 16,000 new jobs in the community.

The tremendous success of DTP is possible because of its strategic alignment with the State, the University of Delaware, and the private sector, and this partnership model has offered DTP national recognition. In 2005, the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) recognized DTP as the Outstanding Research/Science Park of the Year. Additionally, the U.S. Council on Competitiveness recognized DTP as a model research park for its regional economic development initiatives across the U.S. and Mexico.

About STAR Campus

The University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus is a 272-acre property under development as an innovation district.

STAR Campus sits opposite UD’s South Campus, home to the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the David M. Nelson Athletics Complex, just a half mile from the heart of UD’s primary academic campus. STAR is currently under development as a mixed use urban streetscape — a hub of innovation, next-generation research and partnerships aligning UD and Delaware with companies focused on 21st Century problems, products and services. The campus offers real-world academic experiences that give students a chance to learn by doing and gain resume-building work experiences.

STAR is already home to:

  • A performance computing company named by Forbes as one of America’s Most Promising Companies.
  • A manufacturer of clean fuel-cell power sources whose energy servers provide power to Fortune 500 clients including Google, Wal-Mart, AT&T and Coca-Cola.
  • A test zero-emissions vehicle laboratory supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the State of Delaware, NRG Energy, Honda and BMW.
  • UD’s Health Sciences Complex of classrooms, research laboratories, and open-to-the-public care clinics. Operating under the name STAR Health, UD’s comprehensive clinics offer major health and prevention services including: primary carephysical therapy, speech therapy, mental health services, care coordination, nutrition counseling, fitness counseling and health coaching.
    • Local residents can access high quality care and work directly with researchers developing advanced ways to treat illnesses and injuries.
    • UD students train to become the next generation of healthcare practitioners in the clinics, including one belonging to the world-class physical therapy department, a program ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report.

Businesses and organizations interested in potentially locating on the STAR Campus are encouraged to contact Jeremy Sunkett, director of real estate, [email protected], 302-831-6629.

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