The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded Western $2.5 million grant to construct an innovation incubator on the west side of campus.
Western was notified about the grant from Senator Kit Bondâ€™s office on Nov. 3.
The incubator will be a facility for assisting new high-technology companies. It will also bring high-technology firms to the campus and St. Joseph area.
One major benefit of these high-technology firms coming to the St. Joseph area is that they pay high wages and will help to spur the economy of the area. Western President, James Scanlon commented on the grant in a press release from Western.
â€œBuilding this incubator will spur economic development in the region,â€ Scanlon said. â€œAs a developing prototype of the â€˜New American Regional University,â€™ Western is an active partner in the economic growth of the region.â€
According to the press release, the physical structure of the incubator will be a two-stories, 25,000 square feet building. The first floor will be completed first and then the second floor will be built when more firms and research come to the incubator. The incubator will be bid on this winter with the completion estimated to be in late 2007.
This incubator is planned to accommodate up to 15 firms with a few people in each firm. There will be room for larger firms that need more space.
Western Institute will operate the incubator which offers a laboratory, conference room, operation offices, tenant spaces and capacity for a wet laboratory.
The planning and research for the incubator was started in 2004 mostly by students from the biology and business departments.