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Partnership creates business incubator & research institute at Experimental Station

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WILMINGTON — Gov. John Carney on Monday announced the creation of the Delaware Innovation Space, Inc. – a nonprofit public-private partnership established by the State of Delaware, DuPont and the University of Delaware that seeks to catalyze entrepreneurial growth in science-based businesses in the state.

The Delaware Innovation Space will be headquartered at the DuPont Experimental Station research campus in Alapocas.

Formed as a separate nonprofit organization and governed by an independent board, the Delaware Innovation Space will operate as an incubator to accelerate business growth. It will also serve as a research institute that would collaborate with the state’s base of scientific talent.

Each founding partner will contribute assets to the formation of the nonprofit. The initial board of directors will be made up of two members from each partner.

“Delaware’s economy remains in transition, and we should do everything we can to support innovation, and partner with the private sector to drive business and job growth,” said Gov. Carney. “DuPont and the University of Delaware have long histories of innovation, and remain crucially important to the future of our economy and our state. This partnership will draw upon the resources of those institutions to help science-based businesses grow here in Delaware, and connect Delaware’s students to the work of our most talented innovators.”

“DuPont’s vision for the Experimental Station is to harness the power of collaboration to drive innovation,” said Doug Muzyka, DuPont senior vice president and chief science and technology officer. “The Delaware Innovation Space will accelerate new business growth and give entrepreneurs, scientific leaders, and businesses access to best-in-class talent, resources and the culture of the Experimental Station.”

The Delaware Innovation Space will focus on key Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas, including industrial biotechnology, renewable energy, advanced materials, chemical ingredients, nutrition, and healthcare.

“UD fosters a strong, productive and longstanding relationship with the state and DuPont that advances scientific inquiry, strengthens our economy and improves the lives of Delawareans,” said Dennis Assanis, University of Delaware president. “The Delaware Innovation Space represents a new and exciting chapter in that partnership, one that will benefit our community for many more decades ahead.”

It will also provide education to entrepreneurs and startups, help accelerate the formation of new businesses, and connect Delaware’s students with the work of innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Delaware Innovation Space will be located in a dedicated building (E500) at the Experimental Station. It will include approximately 100,000 square feet of innovative laboratory and office space comprised of a mix of large shared lab spaces and open office areas in addition to private laboratory and office suites.  Delaware Innovation clientele also will have access to other common spaces and leveraged capabilities at the Experimental Station.

Partner contributions include:

State of Delaware:
·         $5 million in startup funding support over 3 years from the Delaware Strategic Fund
·         Key support from public stakeholders in attracting companies to Delaware

DuPont:
·         $1.25 million in startup funding
·         Modern laboratory and office building at the Experimental Station, valued at approximately $15 million today
·         Laboratory equipment valued at up to $2 million
·         Nonprofit set-up costs

 University of Delaware:
·         $1.5 million in startup funding over three years
·         Student internships
·         On-site workshops and seminars led by UD faculty members
·         Grant writing support

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