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August 19, 1999
RWD TECHNOLOGIES TO BE FIRST TENANT IN UMBC RESEARCH PARK
RWD Technologies has signed a letter of intent with the UMBC Research Park to establish its new Applied Technology Laboratory. As part of the new high-tech research park adjoining the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the ATL will develop innovative Internet business solutions and will concentrate its initial efforts on Internet systems design, Web-enabled training systems, human-computer interface design, visualization and interactive environments and distance learning.
Construction of the two-story, 40,000 square-foot ATL will begin in early 2000 and is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2001. Upon completion, the company intends to staff the laboratory with 200 RWD employees and about 50 visiting senior engineers and scientists from academia and industry.
Leading the lab will be David Yager, who has been named director of the ATL and vice president of RWD Technologies. Prior to joining RWD, Yager was UMBC distinguished professor of visual arts and founder and director of the university's nationally acclaimed Imaging Research Center (IRC). The ATL will be temporarily housed in UMBC's Technology Center until its new research park facility is completed. Yager will continue to be affiliated with UMBC, serving as distinguished professor.
"It's a wonderful collaboration for RWD and UMBC," says Yager, who will draw on UMBC students and faculty for internships and collaborative research in the ATL. "In addition to conducting cutting-edge research on technology and user-interface design, we will also be able to develop training opportunities for RWD clients in these technology-related areas."
"The Applied Technology Laboratory will enable RWD to advance our position as a leader in developing and supporting the technologies needed to increase the capabilities of Internet systems in the future," adds Dr. Robert W. Deutsch, founder and CEO of RWD Technologies, and a member of UMBC's Board of Visitors. "It will also help the university to attract research faculty and students who wish to be directly involved in the latest advancements in Internet information technology research and development. RWD and UMBC working together have the capabilities to make significant contributions to solving the problems associated with gathering, distributing and utilizing information."
In addition to announcing its first tenant, the UMBC Research Park Corporation plans to enter into an agreement with Grosvenor International (Atlantic) Ltd. (GIAL) to develop the research park, pending approval by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and the Maryland Board of Public Works. Based on a memorandum of understanding, initial plans include a multi-tenant building in addition to a build-to-suit facility for RWD. Terms of the agreement call for local construction, design and real estate firms to be included in the development team.
"This is great economic news for UMBC, Baltimore County and the state of Maryland," says Ellen Wiggins, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. "The research park will build on the university's strength in high-tech fields like engineering, information technology and biology and the success of the UMBC Technology Center to create hundreds of job opportunities in our community."
The vision of an on-campus research park fostering collaborations among UMBC faculty, students and industry began with the late Michael Hooker, former president of both UMBC and UNC-Chapel Hill. The planned five-building development totaling 350,000 square feet on 41 acres adjacent to the university will provide a continuum of research and development space to meet the needs of businesses, from start-up and growth companies to mature research and development organizations. The park's infrastructure was completed earlier this year, with financial support from Baltimore County, the state of Maryland and a grant from the Economic Development Administration. The Abell Foundation also provided financial support for the operations of the UMBC Research Park Corporation.
The project was jump-started in 1996 with the acquisition of the former Lockheed Martin Laboratories just minutes from the main UMBC campus, BWI Airport and I-95. With the help of a $5 million down payment from the state of Maryland and a long-term operating lease with the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), the facility was converted into the multi-tenant UMBC Technology Center. The 160,000 square-foot facility comprised of five buildings on a 30-acre setting was fully leased within one year and today houses 25 high-tech incubator and emerging companies.
"RWD Technologies' decision to locate at the UMBC Research Park as its first tenant is a testament to the extraordinary faculty and students at UMBC," says Governor Parris N. Glendening. "UMBC students will greatly benefit from having a company of RWD's world-class reputation nearby, and the company will be able to take advantage of the research park's outstanding intellectual talent and resources."
"Baltimore County has partnered with UMBC since the inception of the research park," adds Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger. "Partnerships with technology businesses, universities and the public sector hold tremendous economic potential. The county's financial and economic development investment in the UMBC Research Park will pay off in multiple, continuing benefits to the region's technology and business community. Research and development is the first stepping stone in leveraging the region's strengths in technology training and workforce development."
Based in Columbia, Maryland, RWD is a professional services firm with more than 1100 employees, about half of whom live in Maryland. In 1998, RWD was listed among Forbes' "200 Best Small Companies" and ComputerWorld's "Best IT Places to Work." In 1999, Business Week cited RWD in its list of "100 Hot Small Cap Companies." The company provides technical support services to more than 20 industries worldwide and the company's clients include 40 of the top 100 companies in the United States. The company's 1998 revenues were $115 million. Website: http://www.rwd.com.
As Baltimore's public research university, UMBC produces nearly 40 percent of Maryland's bachelor's degree recipients in computer science and information systems and leads all public research universities nationally in the production of bachelor's degrees in these fields. Website: http://www.umbc.edu.
Grosvenor International (Atlantic) Ltd. (GIAL) is a private company associated with the Grosvenor Estate of Great Britain, which comprises holdings of the Duke of Westminster and others. Grosvenor has developed buildings in the UK including a similar university-related research park for the University of Edinburgh. The company's development portfolio is worth approximately $1.76 billion and includes a variety of real estate projects in the United States, Canada and Australia. Website: http://www.geh.co.uk.
Posted by dwinds1 at August 19, 1999 12:00 AM