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September 21, 1999

RWD TECHNOLOGIES TO BECOME FIRST TENANT OF UMBC RESEARCH PARK

Baltimore - RWD Technologies has signed a letter of intent to establish its new Applied Technology Laboratory at the UMBC Research Park. A new division and facility of RWD, the laboratory will focus on e-commerce and e-business, Web development, and interface-design for related applications.

Pending approval by the Maryland Board of Public Works, construction of a two-story, 40,000 square-foot facility for RWD will begin in early 2000 and is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2001. Within three years of its completion, the company expects the laboratory to be staffed with about 200 RWD employees.

One of these employees is David Yager, professor of visual arts and founder of UMBC's nationally acclaimed Imaging Research Center. Effective September 1, Yager became corporate vice president of RWD Technologies and director of RWD's new laboratory, which will be housed in UMBC's Technology Center until the new Research Park facility is completed. Yager will continue to be affiliated with UMBC, serving as distinguished professor of art, teaching, mentoring and supervising graduate students.

[Draft] "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 W. 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."

Creation of the Applied Technology Laboratory builds both on the university's long-standing relationship with RWD and professor Yager's ties with the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, which began with a major research grant two years ago. The foundation also funds scholarships in computer science and information systems at UMBC to help attract and retain the best faculty and students in these high-demand areas.

[Draft] "It's a wonderful collaboration for RWD and UMBC," says Yager, who will also draw on UMBC students and faculty for internships and collaborative research in RWD's new 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."

In addition to announcing its first tenant, the UMBC Research Park Development Corporation has agreed with Grosvenor International (USA), Inc. for construction of the entire Research Park. Based on a memorandum of understanding, plans include 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.

"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, computer science and biology and the success of our technology center to create hundreds of job opportunities in the community."

The vision of an on-campus research park providing collaborations with UMBC faculty, students and industry began with the late Michael Hooker, former UMBC and UNC-Chapel Hill President. The project was jump-started in 1996 with the acquisition of the former Lockheed Martin Laboratories building. The facility, just minutes from the main UMBC campus, BWI Airport and I-95, was then converted into the multi-tenant UMBC Technology Center with the help of a $5,000,000 down payment from the state of Maryland. The center was fully leased within one year and today houses 25 high-tech incubator and emerging companies with the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) overseeing a long term operating lease with UMBC. The UMBC Research Park infrastructure was completed earlier this year, with the help of Baltimore County, the state of Maryland and a grant from the Economic Development Authority.

[Draft Hrabowski/Hannon/other quote?] "UMBC, the state and Baltimore County have been strong partners in developing the region's economic development," 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 all envisioned for several years."

Based in Columbia, Maryland, RWD is an information technology consulting firm with 1150 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 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. Website: http://www.rwd.com

Established in 1966, UMBC now produces nearly 40 percent of Maryland's bachelor 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 (USA), Inc. is a private company associated with the Grosvenor Estate of Great Britain, which comprises holdings of the Duke of Westminster and others. Grovsvenor 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 September 21, 1999 12:00 AM