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Research Park Round Up

March 11, 2009

The following overview is a synopsis of select recent announcements from research parks across the nation, including groundbreakings and development plans to support vibrant regional economies based on science, technology and innovation. 

The University of Missouri Mizzou Innovation Center is the anchor research tenant in the new Missouri Innovation Park - a 500-acre knowledge-based science and technology park being developed by the City of Blue Springs and the university. The project will support public research organizations, private businesses, and other research-related organizations establishing business clusters that focus on commercializing technological innovations. Initial seed capital is provided by the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation, the City of Blue Springs and Kansas City Power & Light. Tenants are expected to move into the research park within the next five to 10 years, reports the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Plans for a 350-acre biomedical research campus in Kansas City were unveiled last month by Oxford Redevelopment Company. The proposed development, which is called Oxford on the Blue, is part of an overall concept encompassing about 3 million sq. ft and will include a village-style residential area for scientists and researchers, reports The Kansas City Star. The project is being financed by James Stowers III, whose parents established the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.

Officials broke ground in December on Alabama's new Robotics Technology Park. The park is a collaborative effort of the state, the two-year college system, Alabama Industrial Development Training, and robotics industry leaders. Plans include three buildings on 53 acres across from Calhoun's Decatur campus. This includes: the Robotic Maintenance Training Center, which will house an industry training program; the Advanced Technology Research Development Center, featuring a test facility for companies currently in the robotics manufacturing industry; and, the Integration and Entrepreneurial Center, a collaborative consolidation of technology involving higher education and industry. The three buildings and robotics equipment represent a $ 71 million investment.

Groundbreaking for Riverside Research Park, which will house 330,000 sq. ft. of offices and laboratories for the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health, took place in November, reports The Associated Press. The facility, located in Frederick, MD, will house the Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative and will have expansion capacity for another 47,000 sq. ft. reserved for life science and advanced technology partner organizations.

A second phase of BWI Technology Park featuring 260,000 sq. ft for flex/research and development and office and retail space was announced in November. The plan calls for development of four buildings on land previously used as a tire reclamation site. 

Greater Johnstown Tech Park in Johnstown, PA, opened in October as the city's first certified green building. The property features a state-of-the-art campus for emerging and established companies in healthcare, information technology, bioscience, defense and finance. Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems and technology businesses and MTS Technologies, Inc. occupy a combined 50,000 sq. ft. within the tech park.

Designed as a green technology R&D business park, CoreTech Park, will house more than 100 advanced technology companies across 250 acres in Lebanon, TN. The first phase will include development of approximately 50 acres with an initial investment of $ 50 million to $ 60 million, according to an article in The Wilson Post.

A commercial aerospace business and research park located south of Las Cruces International Airport is in the works following approval from the Las Cruces City Council. The council adopted a resolution last week identifying 182 acres of undeveloped land for the research park, reports the Las Cruces Sun-News. Development of the park hinges on approval of $ 3 million in state funding, which currently is being debated in the New Mexico Legislature. 

Groundbreaking for the Falcon Hill National Aerospace Research Park located at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, UT took place last October. The 550-acre property was acquired through an Enhanced Use Lease contract, in which private sector entities competitively bid for underutilized real estate assets on Army and Department of Defense Installations. Occupancy of the initial phase is expected in 2010.

Preliminary plans for a $ 35.5 billion technology park at the Flagship Enterprise Center in Anderson, IN were released earlier this month, reports The Herald Bulletin.  Current plans include three buildings housing businesses that focus on green technology, energy storage, and lithium batteries and electric and hybrid vehicle parts. Officials are seeking federal funds for a fourth building for post-incubator companies that graduate from the Flagship, according to the article.

Upcoming Events on Research Parks

The Association of University Research Parks will hold its BioParks 2009 conference May 15-16 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta. This year's theme is The Infrastructure of Innovation. More information is available at: http://aurp.net/bioparks2009/index.cfm.

The International Association of Science Parks will hold its 26th annual World Conference in Raleigh, NC, June 1-4. This year's theme is Future Knowledge Ecosystems. More information is available at: http://www.iasp2009rtp.com/.

Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania