University of Delaware Online Research Magazine
University of Delaware Online Research Magazine

ISSN 2150-5128

Partnerships in progress

by | March 18, 2018

  Charles Riordan

Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation, University of Delaware

ABOVE: A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Oct. 24, 2017, for the six-story, $156 million Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building on UD’s STAR Campus.

Some marvelous momentum is driving the world of University of Delaware research, scholarly and creative activities these days. Our faculty, students and staff reached record-setting levels of productivity in 2017, including all-time highs of $143.5 million in sponsored research expenditures, the birth of seven UD startups, and the launching of a new national institute, thanks to the largest single funding award in University history.

Multiple partnerships took wing in the past year to ensure UD’s scholarly efforts have the broadest and most sustained impact. I mention just two of these collaborations below and encourage you to peruse this issue of UD Research to learn about many others.

The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), which officially launched last March, is an industry-driven, industry-led consortium to accelerate the production of new therapies to treat some of humankind’s deadliest diseases. NIIMBL is a public-private partnership funded over five years through a $70 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Leveraging funds from consortium partners and state governments brings the total investment to $250 million. To house the NIIMBL headquarters, UD is building a new biopharmaceutical innovation building on our Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus, which also will be the new home of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, core facilities and facets of our biomedical engineering department.

In another new public-private partnership designed to ensure UD’s discoveries are advanced to market for the betterment of society, the Delaware Innovation Space Inc. became a reality in July 2017. This joint venture between UD, DuPont and the state of Delaware is a 130,000-square-foot incubator focused on chemistry, materials science and biotech startup businesses. Located in north Wilmington, it will afford our students and faculty, as well as the entire region, an outlet to support and participate in commercialization ventures. As of February 2018, the Delaware Innovation Space is more than two-thirds occupied and supports more than 170 jobs.

These are only two of a number of new partnerships UD spearheaded in 2017. Additional examples include partnerships with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Chemours Company. Each collaboration is aligned with UD’s mission to ensure a world-class educational experience for our students, while serving as a major force for economic development consistent with a 21st-century Land Grant mission.

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