VOLUME 25 #2

Current cover


Delaware Innovation Space

A catalyst for science-based businesses

OUR UD | In a strategic effort to amplify and accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship, the University is partnering with the state of Delaware and DuPont to establish the Delaware Innovation Space Inc. (DISI), a new business incubator that aims to spur job creation and turn the First State into a new sort of Silicon Valley.

“UD fosters a strong, productive and longstanding relationship with the state and DuPont,” says President Dennis Assanis. “Our new partnership will advance scientific inquiry and translate discoveries into innovation to strengthen our economy and improve the lives of Delawareans.”

DISI, located at DuPont’s Experimental Station facility in Wilmington, will act as a catalyst for the growth of science-based businesses. Entrepreneurs will rent lab and office space, giving them room to test their ideas in a collaborative environment, alongside other innovators and professionals with experience in bringing products to market.

“DuPont’s vision for the Experimental Station is to harness the power of collaboration to drive innovation,” says Doug Muzyka, DuPont senior vice president and chief science and technology officer.

The 100,000-square-foot space aims to attract entrepreneurs, scientific leaders and businesses that can benefit from the best-in-class talent and resources created by the partnership. To that end, DISI will focus on key science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas that align with strengths both DuPont and UD bring to the venture, including biotechnology, renewable energy, advanced materials, chemical ingredients, agriculture, nutrition and healthcare.

Projections show DISI will support as many as 2,165 jobs, created directly by tenants in the space and those who outgrow it and move to larger facilities in the region, as well as indirectly through construction and other companies within the tenants’ supply chains. It is expected that at maximum capacity, DISI operations will support more than $20 million in state and local tax revenues and $43 million in federal tax revenues annually.

DISI will also provide an outlet for UD’s faculty, staff and students to see their ideas move toward commercialization. “As they enter and then influence the workplace of tomorrow, our students will need a strong entrepreneurial mindset so they can see obstacles as opportunities and can imagine possibilities instead of dwelling on limitations,” Assanis says. “The Delaware Innovation Space will help UD students become the next generation of entrepreneurs in our state.”