January 10, 2002
Purdue Research Park
About Purdue Research Park
Purdue Research Park, which opened in 1961, is located about two miles north of Purdue's West Lafayette campus. The park provides an interactive environment for experienced Purdue researchers and private business and industry, mainly in the high-tech arena.
The research park is currently in the second phase of its development. A partnership between the Purdue Research Foundation and the City of West Lafayette is funding the development of additional building sites for high-tech companies in the 619-acre park.
Almost 150 acres already have been developed, with approximately 1 million square feet owned or leased by more than 100 companies that employ 2,500 people. Many of these companies are developing Purdue-licensed technologies.
Purdue University, meantime, is focusing on the retention of technology talent in the State of Indiana, working to turn "brain drain" into "brain gain." To assist Purdue's endeavors, the research park is developing a climate to attract companies wishing to relocate from other states and from outside the United States. The park also is encouraging the development of new high-technology firms within its business incubation complex. High-tech companies have the greatest potential to create jobs, generate out-of-state revenue and diversify the economy.
High-tech business incubation complex
The Purdue Research Foundation founded the park's first incubator in 1993 to provide a place for faculty wanting to commercialize their ideas or for companies to develop businesses based on licensed Purdue technologies. More than 50 companies are located in the park's incubation complex. Last year the park launched 16 new companies.
The Purdue Research Park offers a shared-office concept, flexible leases and attractive rental rates within several different incubator facilities. Incubator tenants also benefit from access to various amenities, such as two-way videoconferencing, flexible office and lab space, and high speed Internet access.
The park's high-tech incubation complex consists of the Purdue Technology Center (60,000 square feet), Hentschel Center (14,000 square feet), and the Business and Technology Center (28,000 square feet). In addition, the Innovation Center (48,000 square feet) serves companies that have moved beyond the incubation stage. These buildings recently have been joined by the 73,000-square-foot Vistech I building, the first high-tech, multi-tenant facility in the park funded by private investors.
Purdue Gateways Program
The success of the park's incubated businesses is due, in part, to the Purdue Gateways Program, which connects startups early in their development with mentors who help them identify market prospects, develop prototypes, launch marketing activities and develop financial resources.
House Bill 1424
Purdue asked the Indiana General Assembly in 2001 to assist with the creation of several high-tech business incubators throughout the state patterned after successful activities at the park (House Bill 1424).
Rep. B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, and Sen. Robert Meeks, R-LaGrange, sponsored the bill, which received unanimous support in the Senate and a 99-1 House vote in its favor.
Unfortunately, with state revenue running more than $900 million below projections, legislators were not able to pass a companion funding bill.
As the next phase of the Purdue Research Park emerges, two building lots now are available for purchase and nine more lots are under construction. The expansion plans feature high-speed Internet access and two-way videoconferencing, as well as a seven-acre lake, a large commons, spacious parking lots and numerous walkways that will connect to the area trail system.
WRITER: Jeanine Phipps, public relations director