Life science synergy
Photo courtesy of South Duvall June 14, 2023
New facility at the Delaware Technology Park has major potential for UD
For more than 20 years, the Delaware Technology Park (DTP) in Newark has been one of the state’s main economic drivers, bringing jobs in research and development and helping to educate and train future innovators through synergy and partnerships with the University of Delaware.
The park will build on that rich history of success on the eastern edge of the UD campus by leasing out the final parcel for construction of a three-story, 100,000-square-foot facility that aims to become a hub for life science and research companies. In addition, it could potentially provide wet-lab space for commercial spinouts from the University.
“The life sciences community continues to grow in Delaware and the region, with UD contributing critical research, innovation and workforce development,” UD President Dennis Assanis said. “Our previous partnerships with DTP companies have yielded outstanding opportunities for students, such as internships, guest lectures and employment. We anticipate that the companies in this new facility will open new avenues for federally funded research collaborations with UD’s faculty and research centers.”
The developer, Rockville, Maryland-based South Duvall, has signed an agreement to begin construction on the last remaining parcel — a nearly seven-acre piece of land fronting Wyoming Road. The property’s adjacency to UD was a major factor for the company, said Robert Scheer, South Duvall’s president and a life science real estate industry veteran. Among the reasons for his excitement: the University’s elite engineering programs, the potential to house UD facilities and that university research parks have proven to be dynamic spaces for growth across the country.
“We are excited to play a role in the next stage of the Delaware Technology Park’s growth,” Scheer said. “An impressive ecosystem has been built in Newark and this building will foster continued growth in Delaware’s life science community.”
Mike Bowman, president and CEO of DTP, said its management and board have wanted to fill the remaining parcel with a signature multi-tenant life science building for a while, but have been waiting for the right market conditions.
“That time has arrived,” Bowman said. “Several local companies are seeking to expand, and new ones are interested in coming to Delaware. The proximity to UD is vital for tenants to collaborate with UD's facilities, research talent and future workforce.”
Like the other five buildings at the technology park, the new facility will have a multitude of benefits for UD and its faculty and students.
Bringing more companies close to campus provides students — especially those who don’t have access to private transportation — the ability to take advantage of experiential learning and employment. Also, DTP@STAR, the incubator on STAR Campus, has limited space and is best suited for very small businesses. The new building will enable growth for these and other companies and encourage job retention in Delaware.
South Duvall officials expect to bring in the first of its tenants — which will join 10 others at Innovation Way — at some point in 2025.
Kurt Foreman, president and CEO of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP), lauded the University, Delaware Technology Park and South Duvall for their efforts, which will further DPP’s mission to attract, grow and retain businesses in Delaware.
“Increasing Delaware’s inventory of affordable, high-quality lab space invites companies from both within and outside the state to choose to grow here will support Delaware’s continued momentum in life sciences and other lab-based fields,” said Kurt Foreman, president and CEO of Delaware Prosperity Partnership. “DPP appreciates DTP’s decades of leadership in promoting the long-term growth of Delaware’s science and technology sector through projects like this and welcomes South Duvall’s recent engagement that will bring their considerable industry expertise to our state’s innovation ecosystem.”