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IVCA Visits the Office of Technology Management and the Research Park in Urbana-Champaign for Faculty Presentations and Start-up Company Visits

Article Source: IVCA, April 11, 2012

On April 5th and 6thIVCA caught the vision for new company formation in the middle of Illinois at the “Share the Vision 2012: University of Illinois Technology Showcase”.  The event, organized by the Office of Technology Management attracted over 100 VCs, Corporate Development professionals and other interested constituents to hear about the excitement at the University of Illinois’ downstate campus.All of the “Share the Visions 2012” events were held at the University’s Research Park including 11 occupied office/lab buildings and a hotel/conference center. The facilities are beautiful but the impact of the research park is astounding:

  • Named “2011 Outstanding Research Park” by Association of University Research Parks
  • Named in the “Ten Technology Incubators Changing the World” by
  • Named one of “Ten Start-up Incubators to Watch” by
  • Houses over 90 companies with more than 1,200 employees
  • Research Park startups have raised $135 million and over $64 million in SBIR/STTR funding

The Office of the Vice President for Research led by Larry Schook, is committed to developing deep and meaningful relationships between U of I’s most innovative faculty and industry, government, and academic partners. The office includes the Offices of Technology Management (in Urbana & Chicago), IllinoisVENTURES and the Research Park. The Office of Technology Management’s mission is to transfer IP created on the Urbana-Champaign campus into practical use to benefit the public as quickly and effectively as possible.

Thursday’s agenda included presentations from 38 faculty members whose cutting edge research is making a different in today’s world. Presentations were divided into two tracks: Advanced Materials, Clean Energy & Sustainability and Systems & Devices for Health. Each presentation included a summary of their main areas of research and examples of how the research has been applied to solve important business and/or defense issues. An astounding number of the presenters have already commercialized more than one technology and launched new companies. Click here for a review of Speakers.

On Friday, we were hosted by Laura Frerichs, Research Park Director as we visited EnterpriseWorks, an incubation home to early stage technology companies with relationships or ties to the University. Visitors toured up to 8 companies focusing on two of four verticals: Computing, Biotechnolgy, Materials/Nanotech or Clean Tech. We moved around the EnterpriseWorks facility and other areas of the Research Park to meet with entrepreneurs in their workspace. EnterpriseWorks includes lab space, conference space, offices and server/co-location data center.

The trip South was a real eye-opening experience for the Illinois alumni. Hats off to the Office of Technology Management and the Research Park. It was easy to see why the facility has received so many accolades!