Since it opened in 1992, Delaware Technology Park in Newark, Del., has helped propel Delaware into the forefront of the life sciences, advanced materials, information technology and renewable energy industries.
The park is located not far from the University of Delaware campus. It was launched to provide space for startup companies that wanted research space near the UD campus. It is a non-profit partnership between UD, the State of Delaware and the private sector.
In the 25 years since it was founded, 100 companies have called the park home. They have directly or indirectly spurred the creation of 16,000 jobs.
“Delaware Technology Park has taken a patient and persistent approach to creating a high-impact, technology-based economy and a fertile research zone for Delaware,” says Mike Bowman, the park’s president since 1998 and, before that, its founding chairman.
Today, Delaware Technology Park is a complex of buildings that is home to about 1,000 employees, 54 companies and two research organizations. One is the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology, a developer of vaccines and a research center of Fraunhofer USA, which conducts applied R&D for customers to help close the innovation gap from the lab to the real market. The other is the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, which fosters academic-industrial research partnerships and works to support the local bioscience industry (from startups to multinationals) in partnership with the Delaware Bioscience Association.
In October 2016, Delaware Technology Park marked the next phase in its growth with the opening of an incubator for startup companies on the University of Delaware’s STAR (Science, Technology & Advanced Research) Campus in Newark. The incubator offers state-of-the-art laboratories and offices for emerging companies at rents lower than they could find elsewhere.
Despite being open less than a year, the incubator is already filled with tenants in industries ranging from
biotech to advanced materials.
The incubator has resulted in the creation or retention of 60 science and technology jobs and provided more than 20 students with the opportunity to get hands-on experience working for these emerging companies. The Spin In program pairs teams of students with companies at the incubator, enabling the students to get hands-on work experience.
The companies at the STAR Campus incubator have attracted more than $5 million in funding.
This article appeared in the premiere issue of Delaware Innovation Magazine, an overview of the state’s cutting edge industries and the people leading them. See the whole issue here.