The Research Park at the University of Illinois provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research and easy access to University labs, equipment and services.
Located on campus, the Research Park is now home to more than 100 companies and growing, employing more than 1,700 people in high-technology careers. At any given time more than 600 student interns are working in these companies gaining valuable work experience while making real contributions to internal corporate R&D and product development programs. Multinational and/or publicly traded corporations in the Research Park include: ADM, Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, AB InBev, Ameren, Capital One, Caterpillar, CEB, Deere & Company, Dow AgroSciences, Dow Chemical, Grainger, Littelfuse, Raytheon, Riverbed, State Farm, and Yahoo. The Research Park is also home to over 50 startup companies that are commercializing technology. EnterpriseWorks, the Research Park’s 43,000-square-foot business incubator for early-stage tech firms, is operated by the University of Illinois to help launch successful startup companies.
As home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and technology leaders and start-ups alike, the place and time for developing breakthrough science is in Champaign, IL:
- Superb education, quality health care and affordable housing
- World-class arts and entertainment, and vast sporting and recreational opportunities
- Affordable living
- Easy commuting
Forbes magazine ranked Champaign-Urbana 20th among 168 small cities in its Best Places for Business study. Champaign-Urbana fared 11th best in educational attainment measured by the share of population over age 25 with a bachelors degree and the number of doctorates per 100,000 residents.
Learn some fast facts and statistics about the Research Park and its internal and external impact.
Download an overview about the Research Park. Watch a virtual tour of the EnterpriseWorks Incubator.
Research Park by the Numbers
Driving Growth through a Public-Private Partnership
- 663,721: total square feet constructed in Research Park
- First building opened in January 2001; as of December 2014 there are now a total of 14 buildings.
- The total construction investment in infrastructure and buildings in the Research Park since 2001 is $116 million, of which $16 million was invested in the past 5 years. Investments have been made by Fox/Atkins Development, the University of Illinois, UIRP LLC, the tenants in the Research Park, the State of Illinois, and the City of Champaign.
Attracting Major Corporations and Growing Startup Companies over 10 years
- A total of 245 companies/tenants have been in the Research Park
- 75 companies have been tenants in the Research Park
- 170 startups have been tenants in the EnterpriseWorks incubator
- Current multinational corporations in the Research Park: AB InBev, Abbott Laboratories, ADM, Capital One, Caterpillar, Citrix, Deere and Company, Dow AgroSciences, Dow Chemical, Littelfuse, Grainger, AbbVie, Raytheon, Riverbed, State Farm, and Yahoo!
Jobs/Estimated Payroll in the Research Park from Operations (not including construction jobs impact)*
- 1,618 – direct jobs
- 685 – indirect jobs
- 623 – induced jobs
- Current total annual payroll of $59,000,000.00 and an economic output of $319,281,000.00
- More than 600 students work in the Research Park annually
- Total construction over 15 years has contributed $8.4 million in tax revenues to the state of Illinois
- Total operations in the Research Park are annually contributing $7.5 million in tax revenues to the state of Illinois, and $1.4 million in tax revenue to Champaign County
Tax Revenue Generated by the Research Park at the at the Illinois state level through direct, indirect, and induced revenue sources
- Total operations are annually contributing $7.5 million in tax revenues to the state of Illinois
- Total construction over 15 years has contributed $7.5 million in tax revenues to the state of Illinois
Tax Revenue Generated by the Research Park at the County level through direct, indirect, and induced revenue sources*
- Total operations are annually contributing $1.4 million in tax revenues to Champaign County
- Total construction over 15 years has contributed $2.3 million in tax revenues to Champaign County
Accelerating University Technology Commercialization: Composition of EnterpriseWorks incubator clients:
- 58% of companies have been started by University of Illinois faculty; 20% by UI students or recent alumni; 11% by others; 9% by UI staff. 59% of companies report their origin as coming out of a University department or lab (does not include student started firms).
- 45% of firms have licensed technology from the University of Illinois; 18 percent have pending licensing.
Graduation Metrics/Location of Companies: Spurring Economic Development in the Region
- Since the Research Park opened in 2001 through 2011, there have been over 170 clients in the incubator. Nearly an equal number of firms enter and exit the incubator each year; only 28% are no longer in active operation.
- Post-Graduate Location: Of the firms that successfully graduate, 23% remain in the Research Park, 65% remain in Champaign County, and a total of 77% remain in Illinois.
Between the years of 2010-2014, 14% of all SBIR and STTR grants awarded in the State of Illinois went to companies in the Research Park, at more than $72 million.
Venture Capital Funding
Startup companies incubated in the Research Park have raised $879 million in outside capital, with noteworthy leaders including ShareThis, Semprius, Solarbridge, and Phoenix Coal. Of this total, $244 million in venture and angel capital was raised while the startup companies were located in the Research Park.
Research Park Opportunities
Early Awareness & Tracking of Trends
Innovation based on academic & industry early emerging technologies & strategies
Employ Student Interns & Recruit High Quality Candidates
Cost effective access to a high caliber workforce & a future recruiting pipeline
Leverage Sponsored Research
Opportunity to become more engaged in corporate-sponsored research projects on campus and help monitor progress
External Validation of Research
Receive faculty input on latest innovations and challenges through faculty consulting contracts.
Interactions with start-up companies in EnterpriseWorks & Research Park encourages entrepreneurial thinking among research investors.
Learn from other leading corporations that have established R&D offices in the Research Park, non-industry specific best practices.
Employees of the companies in Research Park can pursue advanced degrees at the University of Illinois while working on campus.
University Labs & Facilities Access
Facility Use Agreement (FUA) with the University of Illinois can provide companies access to research laboratories, facilities, and other university resources.