2019 was a great year for the University of Illinois Research Park. In 2019, employment in the Research Park grew, ground was broken for several development projects, and many tech startups graduated from the EnterpriseWorks incubator. Here is a glimpse of the Research Park 2019 Year in Review:
Research Park has experienced significant employment growth in the past five years. In 2015, the number of employees at Research Park was at 1,574. In 2019, employment reached a record of nearly 2,200 employees including 875 student interns from multi-disciplines.
Three new innovation centers joined the Research Park in 2019. BP, Procter & Gamble, and Motorola Solutions opened their doors at the Park to advance their technology and engage with the campus community. In addition to the new additions to the Research Park, several startups graduated from EnterpriseWorks. Most of these companies stayed local to the Champaign-Urbana area. In fact, 70% of EnterpriseWorks graduates remain in the State of Illinois.
In 2019, three projects broke ground in the Research Park. The Illinois Conference Center expansion, the addition of a Greenhouse to support the “Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency” (RIPE) project, and the construction of a multi-tenant building on Fourth Street are in the works with expected completion dates in 2020.
On July 1, the governance of the Research Park was transferred from the U of I system to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. The scope of the Research Park will focus solely on the Urbana-Champaign campus.
Throughout 2019, the Research Park hosted over 200 events including the AgTech and Big Data Summits, Women in Tech luncheons, entrepreneurial and intern workshops, and networking and recruiting events.