COLLEGE PARK – The University of Maryland College Park (UMD) is known for its innovative campus activities, dedicated students and loyal alumni. But this time the university’s research park has stolen the spotlight, receiving the highest level of recognition for providing an exceptional location where numerous programs can grow and remain fully operational. The University […]
COLLEGE PARK – The University of Maryland College Park (UMD) is known for its innovative campus activities, dedicated students and loyal alumni.
But this time the university’s research park has stolen the spotlight, receiving the highest level of recognition for providing an exceptional location where numerous programs can grow and remain fully operational.
The University of Maryland Research Park has been honored as the 2015 Association of University Research Parks’ (AURP) Outstanding Research Park at the Annual Awards of Excellence. The award recognizes the achievements of outstanding university research parks and those who direct them, in an effort to encourage the development of the top practices.
Brian Darmody, associate vice president for corporate and foundation relations at UMD, nominated the research park because he believed the park was reaching a level of maturity to be considered for the award.
“The University of Maryland Research Park has been around for a very long time and includes the headquarters for the nation’s leading physics societies, such as the American Center of Physics and emerging private technology companies in fields from medical devices to information security,” Darmody said. “I think we’ve been strategic in leveraging the center assets and I’m proud of the researchers, staff, scientists and some of the good things they are doing.”
The “M Square” research park is a public-private partnership between the UMD and Corporate Office Properties Trust. The research park tenants and neighbors benefit from access to the libraries, research support, faculty expertise, student employees, conference and recreation facilities, world-class performing arts and NCAA Division I athletic events.
“Not only is our research park the largest in the state, but it stimulates major partnerships among private, federal, and academic scientists,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “It helps make College Park a major international hub of climate, food and language research, and the park will grow in importance as our new startup innovation district develops next to it.”
There are between 3,000 and 4,000 people who are employed at the research park in areas such as environmental and earth sciences, food safety and agriculture policy, and language and national security.
“As one of the most research-intensive states in the nation, we are honored with the AURP recognition of the University of Maryland Research Park,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said. “The University of Maryland Research Park has attracted more than 3,000 jobs by partnering with federal agencies and the private sector, addressing major national needs, including climate prediction, foreign languages, cyber security, food safety and high performance computing. With this recognition, and the university’s role in graduating the largest number of STEM students in the region, Maryland continues to be a great place of innovation and discovery.”
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III commended the research park as well.
“I recently spoke at the university’s real estate symposium about the amazing transformation of Prince George’s County, College Park and the University of Maryland and its research park,” Baker said. “It is fitting that as the state of Maryland celebrates Economic Development Week that the research park receives this national recognition and honor. I want to congratulate the University of Maryland, the city of College Park, and our private sector, non-profit, and federal partners for implementing and fulfilling their vision of this critical development to the future of Prince George’s County.”
Darmody said the construction occurring around the university, such as the building of a Whole Foods, Hyatt Hotel and more apartments, attracted a lot of attention to the expansion of the research park. The university also plans to build a bridge for pedestrian access to the research park.
“Now is our time,” Darmody said.
The university plans to liven up the research park by adding more amenities to energize the square in a couple of years.
“Three years from now the research park will have a completely different look,” Darmody said. “The Purple Line being approved by Governor Hogan means next year the university will be constructing more than one station at the research park, one at the metro station, and the other closer to university’s research park. Then we got a letter of intent to build a 370 apartment and retail complex in the research park.”
Earlier this year Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced interest in building facilities by the college park metro station.
The location of the park is already adjacent to the metro station and MARC commuter rail station which links students and residents to Washington federal laboratories, government agencies, international embassies, policy institutes, international media outlets and three of the busiest airports in the Washington-Baltimore Metro area.