Bloomington Unveils Action Plan For Technology Park

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The City of Bloomington has named eleven people to a newly created board of directors to manage inVenture, the city’s technology business incubator, and to help guide business development in the technology park.

Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan has unveiled an action plan for the park that contains 36 recommendations covering key areas, including leadership, infrastructure and economic incentives. The tech park encompasses the IU Research Park and inVenture.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

Press Release

BLOOMINGTON, IN – At his City Vision 2006 address in April, Mayor Mark Kruzan announced City efforts would be focused on enhancing several Community-themed initiatives. Last week he announced a Community Collaboration with Lotus Festival and yesterday announced a significant Community Character initiative with BEAD, the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District.

As part of his Community Commerce initiative, Kruzan announced today a multi-year action plan for the City of Bloomington’s Certified Technology Park. The plan is the culmination of a six-month planning process facilitated by Ginovus, LLC, and led by an advisory board chaired by the Mayor.

“The Certified Technology Park plan will serve as a guide for business development within the technology park and help us retain and attract employment and investment in downtown Bloomington,” Kruzan said.

Certified Technology Parks are created as a tool to support the attraction and growth of high-technology business and to promote technology transfer opportunities. The State awards the designation to communities that are partnering with a research institution and that meet certain criteria, such as a commitment from a technology business to create jobs in the park and the existence of a business incubator.

The 80-page Action Plan document contains 36 recommendations covering eight key areas: leadership, infrastructure, economic incentives, real estate and land use, collaboration with university/educational partners, incubator/entrepreneurial development, technology transfer and marketing.

Kruzan said the City is ready to begin implementation and has appointed 11 individuals to serve as the board of directors for a new entity charged with a two-fold mission: managing inVenture, Bloomington’s technology business incubator and guiding business development within the technology park.

Serving on the board of directors will be:

–Ryan Asberry, Director, Research Division, Indiana Economic Development Corporation
–Steve Bryant, Director, Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership
–Lynn Coyne, Assistant Vice President, Indiana University
–Sonny Kirkley, Chairman & CEO, Information in Place, Inc.
–Brian Kleber, Director, Small Business Development Center
–Mark Kruzan, Mayor, City of Bloomington
–Christy Steele, President & CEO, Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
–Michael Szakaly, City of Bloomington Redevelopment Commission
–Ron Walker, Director of Economic Development, City of Bloomington
–John Whikehart, Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College of Bloomington
–Alisa Wright, President, BioConvergence, LLC

“The first recommendation in the Action Plan is the creation of a board of directors capable of providing oversight and guidance to ensure successful development in the technology park,” Kruzan stated. “We are ready to begin and I look forward to working with each of these individuals as we take the next steps to make our Certified Technology Park a major force for south central Indiana.” The board of directors will hold its first meeting in the coming weeks and seek formal incorporation prior to December 31, 2006.

Designation as a Certified Technology Park allows for the local recapture of up to $5 million of certain state and local tax revenue, which can be invested in the development of the park. In addition to the recapture of tax revenue, communities may seek up to $4 million in grant funding from the State for use within the park.

“I am very pleased that Mayor Kruzan has asked me to serve alongside him in the new technology park organization,” said Lynn Coyne, IU Assistant Vice President for Administration. “Indiana University has worked closely with the City to make the technology park a reality and we are excited to build upon the success we’ve had so far.”

Planning for the Tech Park began in February 2004 when City staff met with representatives from Indiana University. IU has been a strong supporter of technology employment in downtown Bloomington through assistance to inVenture and from the IU Research & Technology Corporation, a not-for-profit agency of IU that assists with technology transfer and collaboration to help stimulate growth in Indiana’s technology sectors.

“I’m glad to see the City of Bloomington advancing this effort and I’m honored to have a role in the management of the technology park and subsequent implementation of the plan,” stated Sonny Kirkley, Chairman and CEO of Information in Place, Inc., an information technology firm headquartered in the technology park. Information in Place was listed as the anchor business tenant in the City’s application to the state for designation of the Certified Technology Park.

The Tech Park encompasses the IU Research Park and inVenture, and is adjacent to many cultural attractions, downtown restaurants, core neighborhoods, downtown housing and the future B-Line multiuse trail.

It is already served the Bloomington Digital Underground, the City’s fiber optic ring.

Source: City of Bloomington

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