On April 16, 2010 Forbes.com ran a story, “In Depth:10 Technology Incubators That are Changing the World.” The University of Illinois Research Park was included in the list based on its support of startup technology firms, peer community of large corporate operations, student employment in companies and the history of innovations coming from the University of Illinois.
The University of Illinois Research Park was lauded for having a combination of large corporate operations alongside new technology startups. This creates an opportunity for interaction that allows small firms to learn from large corporations and for the established firms to develop entrepreneurial approaches to innovation.
“The Research Park at the University of Illinois has effectively attracted and grown operations for large corporations and also supported technology commercialization,” said Avijit Ghosh, UI Vice President for Technology and Economic Development.
Located on campus, The Research Park at the University of Illinois opened in 2001 and has since rapidly grown to have 80 companies and 607,000 square feet of building space. The Research Park has been developed a public-private partnership with the University of Illinois and Fox/Atkins Development as the private developer.
The Research Park at the University of Illinois provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with the research faculty and students at the Urbana campus to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research and easy access to University labs, equipment and services. Publically traded firms in the Research Park include: ADM, Abbott Laboratories, Caterpillar, Deere & Company, QUALCOMM, Littelfuse, Riverbed, SAIC, Sony, State Farm and Yahoo.
“One of the secrets to our success has been the growing employment of students by Research Park companies,” said Laura Frerichs, Associate Director of Research Park and Incubation Facilities. Research Park companies employ 440 students in positions that are typically year-round placements and provide hands-on learning in paid positions. “This continuity of employment allows companies to leverage student talent all year (not just summer), reduce workforce costs by hiring students as research staff, achieve a flexible staffing model and create a recruiting pipeline of future talent to cherry-pick after graduation,” said Frerichs.
The article and full list of incubators selected by Forbes is available here
Research Park Website: www.researchpark.illinois.edu