CHAMPAIGN – University officials, government representatives and members of the technology community will join together to celebrate a decade of innovation at the Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during ceremonies on Nov. 10.
The first building at Research Park opened in 2001. Today, the complex has 12 buildings with more than 90 companies – from one-person startups to offices of 11 Fortune 500 corporations– that employ approximately 1400 workers. The public is invited to the formal celebration on Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. in the Atkins Building (formerly the Gateway Building).
“Celebrating milestones like this gives us a chance to affirm our commitment to supporting innovation, creating jobs and ultimately, adding value to our community,” said Vice President for Research Lawrence Schook. “The Research Park is an integral component of the economic development mission of the University, and while we acknowledge 10 years of hard work to get to this point, I know the best is yet to come.”
In 2010, Forbes.com named Research Park as one of the Ten Technology Incubators Changing The World. In 2011 Inc.com named EnterpriseWorks, the Research Park’s early-stage technology incubator, as one of the top 10 start-up incubators in the nation.
Research Park is a hub of entrepreneurial activity, from technology commercialization by startups to research and development innovation by corporate partners. It facilitates the establishment and strengthening of research connections between companies and the University; its companies also employ students for hands-on learning opportunities throughout the year.
A recent economic impact study performed by the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission showed the Research Park’s considerable imprint on the community, from construction to operations. Its wage impact totals $81 million a year, for an annual economic output of $169.5 million. Since 2001, the University has invested $101 million in Research Park facilities and infrastructure; construction job impact, combined with purchase of construction materials, has created an economic output of $159 million.
“The Research Park is the result of the Board of Trustees' vision to transform agricultural property and fish ponds into a vibrant technology community,” said Laura Frerichs, Director of Research Park. “We look forward to the next 10 years as we attract more large companies as well as new entrepreneurial ventures started right here.”
The Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research. Located on campus, the Research Park is home to more than 90 companies, employing 1,400 people in high-technology careers. Publicly traded firms in the Research Park include: ADM, Abbott Laboratories, Caterpillar, Deere & Company, Eastman Chemical, Littelfuse, Raytheon, Riverbed, Sony, State Farm, and Yahoo. The Research Park is also home to 30 startup companies that are commercializing technology. For more information, visit researchpark.illinois.edu.