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Last modified: Thursday, November 13, 2008

Groundbreaking Tuesday for $10 Million Bloomington Incubator

Nov. 13, 2008

EDITORS: The event will also be distributed live to Indianapolis television stations via the IU-to-Indy fiber line. To facilitate this service contact WTIU-TMC at 812-855-9239.

Incubator rendering

A rendering of the future $10 million Bloomington Incubator.

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's improving marriage between intellectual and entrepreneurial capital sweetens Tuesday when ground will be broken for its new $10 million Bloomington Incubator, one of IU's first major initiatives under its new Innovate Indiana program.

The 40,000-square-foot facility, designed to accommodate both life science and Internet technology start-ups, is expected to be completed in July. It will be managed and operated by the IU Research and Technology Corporation and located on university property at 10th Street and the State Road 45/46 bypass.

Innovate Indiana is IU President Michael McRobbie's touchstone project to expand economic development across the state behind one central office, the IU Research and Technology Corp., which is now charged with coordinating and facilitating interaction between public research and private entrepreneurship.

"This undertaking represents a long-term commitment by Indiana University to provide our research scientists with all the support and assistance they will need to transform the discoveries and great ideas generated in their laboratories into marketable products and services," McRobbie said. "Ultimately, all of Indiana will benefit from the jobs and economic vitality generated by this collaboration between public research and private entrepreneurship."

The new Bloomington site will also complement the university's successful 67,500-square-foot incubator on the Central Canal in downtown Indianapolis, a facility that currently stands at 98 percent capacity with 23 tenants.

IURTC president Anthony Armstrong, who will oversee both the Indianapolis and Bloomington incubators, said some companies have already committed to moving into the Bloomington site, which will balance office space equally between traditional and wet laboratory needs.

"This is an extremely exciting time for the economic development arm at IU, for the Bloomington business community and for our researchers who will now have a home where their advances can move forward with respect to business development, intellectual property protection and trademarking opportunities," he said. "In the long run, those opportunities could benefit all Hoosiers."

One successful program that will move into the new facility will be Pervasive Technology Labs at Indiana University, which was created in 1999 with a $29.9 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Each of that project's six working laboratories have gone on to generate new spin-off corporations, and more are expected.

Bill Stephan, IU vice president for engagement, said both the will and the way now stand before the university's focused effort to move technology from the laboratory to the marketplace.

"The groundbreaking for this incubator facility in Bloomington represents a significant advancement for the students, faculty and researchers of Indiana University and their efforts to marshal their creativity, innovation and expertise in a manner that fosters learning and impacts our state's economic vitality," Stephan said.

The area around the incubator is fast becoming the locus for a wide range of life science and tech-based enterprises and will serve as the anchor for the university's technology corridor, which will extend north along the bypass to the IU Cyclotron facility, he added.

The incubator will be complemented by the new IU Data Center, which will become operational next spring, and the planned Cyber Infrastructure Building that will house much of the University Information Technology Services staff.

In addition to McRobbie and Stephan, also expected to make remarks at the ceremony are Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson and chemistry professor Theodore Widlanski, who also serves as associate vice president in the Office of the Vice President of Engagement.

The groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday inside the Intercollegiate Athletic Gymnasium, more commonly referred to as the University Gym, located at the northeast corner of the 10th Street-45/46 bypass. The event is open to the public.