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UNH dedicating 60 acres to research park

Union Leader Correspondent

October 09. 2017 10:12PM
UNH will soon be the home to a research park, according to the managing director of UNHInnovation. (UNION LEADER FILE)

DURHAM — Officials at the University of New Hampshire are developing a 60-acre research park that will provide a place for innovation and business development.

Marc Sedam, the managing director of UNHInnovation, says there are about 270 research parks in the world and that they work best at institutions of higher learning because of the access to an abundance of resources, including faculty and students.

“This is the kind of thing that can only be done at universities. It’s the vibe on a college campus,” Sedam said Monday. “It would be a place for businesses to locate and access the horsepower of the university.”

The research park is planned for a parcel of land located west of the football stadium near an intersection with Mast Road. There are university buildings currently there, and Sedam said they have talked with officials at the USDA Forest Service, which has a laboratory in the area.

Sedam said the park will be constructed for mixed use, with a 30,000- to 40,000-square-foot convenience center for conferences and office space. Apartments and townhouses will be built for faculty and graduate students.

Sedam said the park will be able to accommodate single-person startups and companies with up to 600 employees. Although he could not disclose details about which businesses have expressed interest in the park, Sedam said they have talked to blue-chip companies as well as incubators and accelerators over the course of the last year.

“The reality is the business community really respects what we do,” Sedam said. “We feel compelled this is the right time to get this done.”

Officials at UNH are still trying to figure out how funding for the park will work, Sedam said.

According to leaders at the Association of University Research Parks in Tucson, Ariz., science and technology parks like the one planned at UNH encourage the growth of new companies and drive technology-led economic development.

For example, graduate firms and current occupants of the University City Science Center support one out of every 100 jobs in greater Philadelphia, driving nearly $13 billion in economic activity in the region. It was founded in 1963 and is near the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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