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State, WL to create first certified technology park at Purdue, new economic tool

Indiana Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan will announce the formation of the first certified technology park at 10:30 a.m. Monday (5/12) in the Purdue Research Park. The event will take place in the Purdue Technology Center conference room, at Kent and Cumberland avenues, West Lafayette.

Coming out of 2002’s tax restructuring legislation, the new certified technology park program encourages the location of high-technology businesses within areas identified by local redevelopment commissions. Portions of tax revenues generated by tenants are reinvested into the park and used for improvements, operation and maintenance of facilities, payment of interest and principal on bonds, and other business development activities.

There are several angles to explore:

• This economic development tool is unlike any tried before in Indiana. It requires a partnership between a research university, a city, and high-tech businesses committed to the state.

• Areas designated as certified technology parks must promote the development of high-tech activity.

• It is similar to the urban enterprise zone concept, but instead of money being funneled into economically struggling areas, it is reinvested in creating high-tech jobs.

• In many other economic incentive programs, such as tax abatements, approval is given based on promises of employment. With such abatements, if expected goals are not met, the incentive is difficult to rescind. With this new tool, dispersal of the funds is contingent on actual growth in the park.

• The reinvestment is managed at the local government level.

• Every Indiana community that develops a relationship with a public research university, including regional campuses, could become eligible. For example, South Bend could partner with Indiana University-South Bend. Indianapolis could partner with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Sellersburg could partner with Ivy Tech.

The requirements specify: Any city, town or county with a redevelopment commission is eligible to have an area designated as a Certified Technology Park if certain requirements are met, including: demonstrating the significant support of a research university; a commitment to the commercialization of products; access and utilization of public and private resources in the park; the existence of, or proposed development of, a business incubator; the development of a business plan; or the assurance that the park will be used for high technology business activity. In addition, a firm commitment must be shown from at least one business primarily engaged in a high-technology activity creating a significant number of jobs that will locate within the park.

• Potential new businesses and venture capitalists will see the certification as state’s seal of approval.

• The designation demonstrates the state's commitment to growing and developing high-tech businesses. It's another sign that Indiana is open for business.

Video can be provided in advance. Audio as well as additional video and photos will be provided after the event.

CONTACT: Jeff Harris, media relations director, Indiana Department of Commerce, (317) 232-2464,; Jeanne Norberg, director, Purdue University News Service, (765) 494-2084,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page