The Arkansas Research and Technology Park has had an economic impact of more than a half-billion dollars since construction on the park began in 2003, according to a new economic impact analysis conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas.
University officials unveiled the report while “Celebrating 10 Years of Innovation,” a ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Arkansas Research and Technology Park. The Innovation Center at the research park was dedicated on Oct. 15, 2004.
“From the vantage of 10 years, it’s clear that the Arkansas Research and Technology Park has been an unqualified success, and its anniversary is well worth taking some time to celebrate,” University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart told a crowd that gathered in the Innovation Center atrium.
The research park, managed by the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation, includes several facilities that support university research and technology-based economic development.
“By concentrating leading-edge facilities together with a rich pool of talent and innovative ideas, our plan for the ARTP is not only being realized but is having a measurable impact on the local and state economy,” said Phillip Stafford, president of the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation.
The Arkansas Research and Technology Park ended fiscal year 2014 with 38 public/private affiliate companies and 196 employees, resulting in a total employment impact of 385 jobs statewide. Based on expenditures by the park’s affiliates for fiscal 2014, which ended June 30, the research park generated $54.7 million in economic activity statewide and $1.8 million in state and local taxes for the year.
The Center for Business and Economic Research in the U of A’s Sam M. Walton College of Business found that labor income associated with the research park’s tenant companies totaled $189.5 million from 2005 to 2014, and the research park’s overall economic impact on the state from 2003 to 2014 totaled $522.9 million.
“From proof-of-concept to early development, and on to actual product development, the ARTP has nurtured innovation and technological development for a decade now,” Gearhart said. “The University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation continues to promote the translation of university research into groundbreaking innovations that are fueling a growing entrepreneurial culture.”
The park’s partners include the city of Fayetteville, the Northwest Arkansas Council, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Innovate Arkansas and the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority, among others.