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Research Park RoundUp

May 11, 2011

Included below are recent development plans and groundbreaking news for research parks announced by officials in Connecticut, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Lawmakers last week advanced a bill to provide $25 million for a new research park at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as part of the Innovation Campus. The Innovation Campus includes a life sciences research center and a U.S. Department of Agriculture Research facility, reports Bloomberg.

University of Connecticut officials announced a plan to build an $18 million tech park financed with state bonds. The tech park will house large, flexible-use laboratories with specialized equipment for research and will provide space for business incubators and individual companies. The plan also includes $2.5 million in state funds to create the Innovation Partners Eminent Faculty program designed to attract top scientists.

The Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology (CAMT) and private sector companies will develop a research park focused on aerospace and clean energy research in Colorado following the Space Act Agreement signed in December between NASA and CAMT. Plans include housing for up to 100 aerospace and clean energy companies on a 200-acre campus.

Commissioners approved in March development plans for a 640-acre energy park in Colorado near the border of Wyoming called Niobrara Energy Park. The plan is for the park to integrate different energy sources such as natural gas, wind and solar, reports the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Additionally, the park may have a natural gas processing plant, data center, energy research center and a 200-acre solar farm.

With funding from a privately funded nonprofit organization, The University of Rhode Island will complete a feasibility study to gauge the economic viability of developing a research and technology park to enhance the university's research agenda, reports Boston.com.

After being delayed for two years, construction has begun on a life sciences research park in Louisville and is expected to be completed in 2012, reports The Courier-Journal. The park is expected to house new businesses created by University of Louisville researchers.

The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth will break ground later this year on a $23 million biotech manufacturing demonstration center, according to The Boston Globe. It is intended to be a facility where fledgling companies coming out of laboratories in Cambridge and Boston can do pilot or small-scale production of biologic products, the article states.

Construction on a second research park at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is slated for 2012. The 270-acre site will be developed using a New Urbanist design with smaller lots, buildings that are closer together and walkable neighborhoods, according to a Wisconsin State-Journal article. Planning for the park began in 2002.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced earlier this year an investment of $16 million to renovate warehouse space within the Piedmont Triad Research Park, reports The Business Journal. The old tobacco warehouses will be converted into a medical laboratory and research facility.

Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Wisconsinresearch parks