Technology Park has $590 million annual impact on Nebraska economy
Lincoln, Neb., July 25, 2011—The University of Nebraska Technology Park makes an estimated $589.6 million annual impact on the Nebraska economy according to a recent study by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Bureau of Business Research.
The study focused on the combined economic impact of the companies at the 150-acre Technology Park located in the Highlands neighborhood of northwest Lincoln. These companies include tenant companies in the park, companies in the business incubator program and companies that graduated from the incubator program and remain in Nebraska.
The Technology Park, a managed real estate asset of the University of Nebraska Foundation, serves the property and office needs of technology-focused companies. The park is distinct from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Innovation Campus, which is a public-private partnership dedicated to advancing university research and its commercialization.
Further breakdown of the Technology Park’s economic impact study indicates a $151.3 million labor income impact spread across 4,320 jobs. The study reported businesses affiliated with the Technology Park made approximately $86.8 million in capital investments since beginning work at the park, and they received $8.2 million in competitive federal grants through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
"As the Technology Park celebrates its 15th anniversary, we take justifiable pride in its success," said Stephen Frayser, president of the park. "Through collaborative efforts involving the University of Nebraska Foundation, University of Nebraska, community civic and business leadership and the state, we established a critical mass of technology-focused businesses at the park. It has grown from modest beginnings to 17 organizations with more than 2,500 employees. By creating a technology focus, the park provided an environment in which innovative firms succeed."
According to Frayser, over the last 15 years park companies have played leadership roles in fields as diverse as DNA vaccine, genetic screening for the livestock industry and practical applications of geographic information system technologies.
"The concept of technology-based economic development was proven sound, and the park’s success has set the stage for new ventures to achieve even greater results in the future," Frayser said.
According to the study, many other local businesses benefit economically from Technology Park firms. The industries most directly affected include business services, financial services and information services. Among other industries, the largest economic impact was in the education and health care industry. There was a $16.4 million impact on education and health care including $8.3 million in labor. There was an $11.4 million impact on the retail trade industry and an $11.2 million impact on the hospitality industry.
"Businesses located at or graduating from the Technology Park are critical to Lancaster County in part because they are export-oriented businesses," stated the Bureau of Business Research in its report. "In other words, these are businesses that primarily sell goods and services outside of Lancaster County and around the Midwest, the nation, and internationally. Therefore, the businesses bring money into the Lancaster County economy and contribute to the economic base of the community. This both creates new job opportunities for residents and provides additional customers for other businesses."
The economic impact study also took an individual look at the Technology Park’s business incubator program housed in the Technology Development Center, which worked with 34 startup companies between 1997 and 2011.
The total annual economic impact on business activity by these affiliated companies was $32.3 million. This economic impact included a $12.8 million labor income impact spread across 260 jobs.
"The direct labor income impact of business incubator graduates is spread over 120 jobs and represents an average salary of $68,500," Frayser said. "It is important to understand technology-based startups can result in profitable jobs which draw educated, highly qualified workers," Frayser said.
The study does not reflect the economic effects that will be seen when Cabela’s World’s Foremost Bank completes its 40,000-square-foot addition to its technology center located at the park. Over the next five years, an additional 400 jobs are planned, which will increase total park employment to 2,900. The Technology Park’s estimated annual impact is expected to increase to $611 million.
Following release of the study, Nature Technology Corporation was awarded a $920,000 grant for gene therapy development making the total amount of federal grant money received by park companies $9.1 million.
The complete report from the economic impact study is at nutechpark.com.
The park also announced it will change its name to Nebraska Technology Park on Aug. 1. The change is expected to help distinguish it from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Innovation Campus.
Contact information for the park’s management office also changes Aug. 1. The office phone number is 402-458-1290 and the fax number is 402-323-2003. Its website is at nebraskatechpark.com and Facebook page is at facebook.com/nebraskatechpark.
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