UConn officials joined project engineers, union workers, legislators, and others Tuesday to celebrate symbolic completion of the structural phase of UConn’s new Innovation Partnership Building in Storrs.
The $132 million Innovation Partnership Building (IPB) will allow for greater public-private research collaboration. The 115,000-square-foot facility is bringing together world-class academic researchers, business entrepreneurs, and private industry scientists to develop innovative technologies in flexible electronics, materials science, additive manufacturing, cybersecurity, energy, and other fields.
“This is a transformational undertaking for UConn – so many people deserve thanks,” University President Susan Herbst said.
Some of Connecticut’s – and the world’s – leading corporations and industries are serving as anchor partners for the IPB, including the United Technologies Corp., General Electric, Comcast, Pratt & Whitney, Eversource, and Fraunhofer Inc.
The IPB will house one of the most advanced microscopy centers in the country as part of a partnership with the FEI Co., a worldwide scientific instrument maker. It also will provide industries and corporations access to more than $40 million in high-end research equipment. The building is expected to open in 2017, and will serve as the anchor for a future 300-acre UConn Technology Park.
Al Gogolin, senior vice president of Skanska USA, the project manager, noted that the topping off ceremony is an old Scandinavian tradition that originally honored the tree “spirits” in recognition of the trees cleared for the building. “We are here to celebrate what’s to happen going forward,” he said. “Skanska is proud to be part of that.” The ceremony included raising a flag, a tree, and unveiling the final steel beam embellished with autographs.
Radenka Maric, UConn’s CT Clean Energy Fund Professor in Sustainable Energy, will lead the efforts as executive director for the Innovation Partnership Building.
Maric has expertise in integrating emerging market needs with technology capabilities to define the vision and strategies of scientific organizations; building and leading diverse teams; prioritizing programs for market development and commercialization; and managing diverse scientific and engineering project portfolios. She has led and continues to drive strategic efforts to build fundamental and applied research and technology commercialization capabilities in partnership with government, industry, and other academic leaders.
“UConn has a proud history of supporting the state’s economy through groundbreaking research, academic excellence, and strong industry-university partnerships,” said UConn Provost Mun Choi. “This Innovation Partnership Building provides the intellectual and physical assets to support the development of groundbreaking new technologies that will define our future.”