University Research Park: forges “sister park” ties with German technology center


Contact: Greg Hyer at 608-441-8000

FRANKFORT, Germany – Greater cooperation in fostering technology business growth is the goal of a “sister park” agreement announced Tuesday by representatives of University Research Park in Madison, Wis., and the Frankfort Biotechnology Innovation Center in Frankfort, one of Europe’s leading business hubs.

A memorandum of understanding between the two research parks was signed in Frankfort by University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor John Wiley, University Research Park Director Mark Bugher and Christian Garbe, managing director of the Frankfort Biotechnology Innovation Center (FIZ).

The memorandum is the third international agreement of its kind for University Research Park, which is home to 110 companies and about 5,300 workers in Madison, Wisconsin’s capital city and the location of UW-Madison. Existing agreements link the park in cooperative ways to IT Fornebu AS in Oslo, Norway, and Keimyung Technopark and Keimyung University Business Incubation Center, Taegu, Korea.

“Many, if not most, of our tenants must do business in an international arena in order to succeed. Our agreement with the Frankfort Biotechnology Innovation Center not only recognizes that fact, but encourages strategic cooperation that can help researchers and emerging companies in both countries,” URP Director Bugher said.

Opened in July 2004, the Frankfort Biotechnology Innovation Center is located near the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt. It houses 13 companies and two other organizations; it will be fully occupied by Jan. 1, 2006. Major stakeholders include the State of Hesse (Wisconsin’s sister state in Germany), the city of Frankfurt and the Frankfurt am Main Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

University Research Park was established in 1984 and includes 34 buildings (1.5 million square feet under roof) on 255 acres. It is located about three miles west of the UW-Madison campus, one of the leading research universities in the United States.

The agreement signed Tuesday in Germany calls for:

n An exchange of information about development standards, real estate covenants, zoning requirements, signage policies and infrastructure requirements related to the parks.

n Reciprocal visits and continuing contacts between companies in the parks.

n Joint publication of a “profile directory” of companies in the parks, as well as internet and web site forums to facilitate international business relationships.

n Other exchanges of information on topics such as workforce development, technology transfer, venture capital and business incubator “best practices.”

“The overriding purpose of the relationship is fairly simple: We want to exchange data, facilitate knowledge of developments in both parks, communicate information about the companies in both parks, and enhance cooperation and joint projects,” Bugher said. “Wisconsin has deep ties to our sister state of Hesse, which has emerged as a leading region for biotechnology in Europe. We want to strengthen that relationship.”

As Europe’s largest pharmaceutical center, the Frankfort region is home to more than 100 biotech-related firms and ties to international companies such as Sanofi-Aventis, Abbott, Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Fresenius. The Frankfort region also includes five universities, eight technical colleges and 35 research institutes, according to the Frankfort Economic Development GmbH.

For more information on University Research Park, visit

For more information on the Frankfort Biotechnology Innovation Center, visit