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BY JIM LAIRD
For Starkville Daily News
Mississippi State officials will join with U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker and U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper Monday [Sept. 17] to celebrate the grand opening of the newest building in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park.
Funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Commerceâ€™s National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Mississippi Development Authority, the 20,000-square-foot building is home to a new business incubator, as well as operations for II-VI Inc., according to Mississippi State University Research and Technology Corporation Director Marc McGee, who oversees the research park.
II-VI Inc. is a Pennsylvania-based firm with manufacturing facilities, distributors and agents around the world. It is recognized as a global leader in engineered materials and optoelectronic components.
â€śThe presence of a major international manufacturer of high-tech products with applications in industrial manufacturing, military and aerospace, high-power electronics and telecommunications, and thermoelectronics applications in the park illustrates the significant impact that university research parks can have in the communities they serve, particularly in a rural state like Mississippi,â€ť said David Shaw, MSUâ€™s vice president for research and economic development.
The 2 p.m. celebration will include comments by Cochran, Mississippiâ€™s senior senator; Wicker, who has served in the Senate since December 2007; Harper, the second-term congressman for the 3rd District, which includes the university; MSU President Mark E. Keenum; Greg Bohach, MSUâ€™s vice president for agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine and president of the MSU RTC board of directors; Vincent Mattera, II-VI Inc. executive vice president; Jim McArthur, MDA deputy director; and Shaw.
â€śWe are very excited about achieving this milestone, and are looking forward to additional expansion of the park in the near future,â€ť Shaw said.
The 272-acre park is home to nine buildings and 1,500-plus employees, and represents some $100-million-plus of investment.
Construction of a second entrance and boulevard connecting the park with Highway 182 is under way with completion expected early next year.
In addition to II-VI Inc., Camgian Microsystems, HBM nCode Federal, Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, High Performance Computing Collaboratory, SemiSouth Laboratories, Social Science Research Center, MSU Energy Institute, Sitel and Tennessee Valley Authority are among current residents of the park.
For more information about the park, please contact McGee at 662-325-9575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.