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September 21, 1999


Baltimore - RWD Technologies has agreed to establish its new Applied Technology Laboratory at the UMBC Research Park. Construction of a two-story, 40,000 square foot facility will begin in early 2000 and is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2001. Within three years of its completion, RWD expects the laboratory to be staffed with about 200 RWD employees. One of these employees is David Yager, professor and chair of UMBC's Visual Arts Department since 1986 and director of UMBC's highly-regarded Imaging Research Center; he became Corporate Vice President of RWD Technologies and Director of RWD's new laboratory, effective September 1, 1999. He will continue to be affiliated with UMBC, serving as both (1) Distinguished Professor of Art, teaching, mentoring, and supervising graduate students, and (2) Director of UMBC's Fine Arts Gallery, until an appropriate transition can be made. [Draft Yager quote:] According to Yager, the Applied Technology Laboratory is a new division and facility of RWD focusing on e-commerce and e-business, Web development, and interface-design for related applications. "It's a wonderful collaboration for RWD and UMBC," says Yager, who will draw on UMBC faculty and students to launch the laboratory. "In addition to conducting cutting-edge research on technology and user interface design, we will also be able to develop training opportunities for corporations in these technology-related areas." Creation of the RWD Applied Technology Laboratory-located initially in UMBC's Technology Center-builds both on the university's long-standing relationship with RWD and Professor Yager's ties with the RWD Foundation, which began with a major research grant two years ago. [Draft Deutsch quote:] "Locating the ATL at UMBC will help us stay abreast of the rapid advances in information technology research to meet our clients' needs," says Robert Deutsch, founder and CEO of RWD and a member of UMBC's Board of Visitors. "It will also help the university attract top faculty and students to work on practical problems managing IT research and development. In this rapidly changing industry, we clearly need each other." With headquarters in Columbia, Maryland, RWD currently has 1150 employees, about half of whom live in Maryland. The company also maintains offices in Great Britain and Germany. 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 counts over 40 of the top 100 companies in the United States as clients, and provides services to over 20 industries worldwide. The company's 1998 revenues were $115 million. In addition to announcing its first tenant, the UMBC Research Park Development Corporation has also agreed on development terms with the Maryland division of Grosvenor International (Atlantic) Ltd. (GIAL). for the first building of the on-campus research park. UMBC Research Park representatives and GIAL have agreed on a memorandum of understanding detailing construction plans for a 75,000-square-foot, three-story, multi-tenant building at the UMBC site. Terms of the agreement call for local construction, design and real estate firms to be included in the development team. The UMBC Research Park will offer state of the art laboratory and office space for high technology companies including biotech, information technology, pharmaceutical and engineering firms. The infrastructure of the site, located off Interstate 95 within minutes of BWI airport, is now complete. "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 UMBC Research Park will build on the University's strength in high tech fields like engineering, computer science and biology and the success of our Technology Center to create hundreds of job opportunities in the community," said Wiggins. GIAL is a subsidiary of real estate investment, development and asset management group Grosvenor International Holdings Limited (GIHL). GIHL is a private company associated with the Grosvenor Estate of Great Britain, which comprises holdings of the Duke of Westminster and others. Vancouver-based GIHL 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. [Whiting Turner bit?] UMBC already operates a 130,000 square-foot Technology Center, home to 25 incubator and emerging high-tech companies. In addition to the close relationship between UMBC and RWD, the Maryland and Baltimore County economic development agencies have been extremely supportive in working with the company to locate its new division at UMBC. [Draft Freeman quote:] "UMBC has long been a growing catalyst for regional economic development, as we produce nearly 40 percent of Maryland's information technology workforce" says UMBC President Freeman Hrabowksi. "RWD's decision is not only a vote of confidence in our approach, but is also a critical first step toward achieving the broad range of facilities we've envisioned for several years."

Posted by dwinds1 at September 21, 1999 12:00 AM