Office of the President

Dr. Patrick T. Harker is the 26th president of the University of Delaware. He also serves as professor of business administration in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering.

TIGER Grant Award Announcement
STAR Campus
June 22, 2012

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I add my sincere thank you to all those who helped bring this critical grant to the Newark Regional Transportation Center.

We’re absolutely indebted to the U.S. Department of Transportation, to Sec. LaHood and FTA Administrator Rogoff. I thank Sen. Carper, Sen. Coons, and Rep. Carney; Gov. Markell; Sec. Bhatt and the entire Delaware Department of Transportation; the Wilmington Area Planning Council; New Castle County Executive Paul Clark and the County Council; Mayor Vance Funk and the City of Newark; and the University of Delaware Board of Trustees.

I thank the state’s business and industry leadership—true believers in the enormous economic benefit of this development effort. I thank all of our partners in Maryland and Pennsylvania, who understood immediately how critical this project is for our close regional collaboration and mutual economic growth.

What TIGER Does for UD
There’s no more definitive way to say it: This TIGER grant is a game-changer for the University of Delaware, essential to the development of this Science, Technology, and Advanced Research Campus.

Long before we secured this land, we had a strategy for the STAR Campus build-out: the 3+1 strategy. The “3” part of the equation entails capitalizing on the University’s three big science and tech strengths: health sciences; energy and the environment; and national security and defense. Our plan is to lead in these priority areas, to bring our considerable expertise to bear, and build an R&D enterprise that benefits the University, the state, and the nation.

But the “1” in that equation is just as important as the “3.” The “1” is the enabling infrastructure that allows us to assert our leadership in these three key areas. And that infrastructure, first and foremost, is the Newark Regional Transportation Center. Because what this campus needs is people—people from all over—the most creative, the most innovative, the most industrious people who will come together to re-imagine what’s possible; who will harness our shared knowledge, talent, and experience, and redesign the way America thinks and works.

And these people need access. They need access to us. And we need access to them—physical access. You can’t replicate the advantages of proximity—the creative energy of a lot of great minds working together, the efficiency that expedites time-to-market for important discoveries.

What TIGER Does for the Region
And that’s why this grant isn’t just a game-changer for UD. It’s a game-changer for the region. For Delaware and the entire mid-Atlantic region, it allows the growth that comes with the importing of talent and the exporting of ideas. From the beginning, we knew this campus would grow, it would thrive, it would put dollars back into our economy only by being open and inviting to the people and ideas and investment of our neighbors.

This STAR campus is predicated on partnership. It’ll be a home to some of the regional partnerships we’ve already established, like the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance, and our partnership with the U.S. Army’s RDECOM. What this improvement project enables is many, many more regional partnerships; a connection to the people and organizations that share our goals, that share our vision, that can enlarge what we’re capable of delivering—in terms of invention and innovation, and in terms of economic impact.

It’ll help UD and the state leverage opportunities all along this powerful East Coast corridor that would be impossible without an improved and expanded multi-modal transportation hub.

STAR Coming Into Focus
This has been an exciting spring for the STAR Campus. Less than two months ago, we celebrated Bloom Energy’s official groundbreaking on 50 campus acres—land on which the company will locate its first East Coast sales and production center: 900 jobs—maybe 1,500 with co-locating contractors; a huge win for our clean-energy leadership, for our innovation economy, for our manufacturing strength.

And then last month, we announced that Delaware firms Delle Donne and Associates and Bancroft Construction will help us create a plan for Phase 1 development of the STAR Campus, an expansive Health Sciences Complex where we’ll join efforts with our academic, industry, and commercial partners to transform health education and training, research, and community-focused care; where we’ll stake a claim to national leadership in health and wellness, and grow the health sciences’ already significant contribution to the regional economy.

This TIGER IV grant announcement today is another giant step forward—a fundamental and badly needed piece of the development puzzle. The Newark Regional Transportation Center enables the all the ambitions we’ve talked about since November 2009. And, again, I thank the U.S. Department of Transportation and everyone here for making these ambitions possible. Secretary Bhatt, would you say a few final words?

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