University Research Park will expand

MADISON – Demand for “incubator” space for early-stage technology companies will lead to a $1 million renovation at the MGE Innovation Center in University Research Park, director Mark Bugher announced Wednesday.

Twenty suites ranging from about 700 square feet to nearly double that size will be added on the east side of the Innovation Center, 510 Charmany Drive, in space being vacated by the move of Epic Health Systems to its new headquarters in Verona. Construction begins Monday.

The MGE Innovation Center currently houses 34 companies, mostly start-ups, and Bugher said the demand for incubator space continues to grow as tech firms spin out of the UW-Madison or young companies with UW ties look for ways to relocate in Madison. Sixty existing suites in the Innovation Center are fully occupied; several companies are poised to rent new suites in early 2006.

“The success of the current incubator has prompted this renovation,” Bugher said. “We’re seeing some exciting growth, and there is strong global interest in the Madison area as a place to build a tech-based business.”

The MGE Innovation Center is a first stop for young companies based on intellectual property created at the UW-Madison, one of the world’s leading research universities. Companies in the center receive services such as administrative support, direct access to the UW research library system, high-speed Internet service and use of common areas and meeting rooms.

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. It is home to 110 companies and about 5,300 workers.

A second phase for the park is planned on 270 acres southwest of the intersection of Mineral Point and Junction Roads on Madison’s far West Side; work on that project is likely to begin in 2007.

Bugher said the new incubator suites will be ready for occupancy by late winter. Both “wet” and dry laboratory space will be available. Architectural work for the project is being provided by Strang Inc. in Madison, and the general contractor is Ideal Builders, Madison.

For more information on the suites other space in University Research Park, contact Bugher or associate director Greg Hyer at 608-441-8000.