By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – The newest building at the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park already is full – and the grand opening for the facility was Monday.
The fourth building in the 272-acre park measures 22,000 square feet and serves as a business incubator for faculty, students and other entrepreneurs.
“We’re already having discussion on what our fifth incubator is going to look like,” said David Shaw, vice president of research and economic development at Mississippi State University.
The research park, named after the longtime GOP U.S. senator from Mississippi, employs some 1,500 people and represents more than $100 million in investment.
Cochran also attended the ceremony, along with his Senate colleague, Roger Wicker, and 3rd District U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper.
Greg Bohach, president of MSU’s Research and Technology Corp., which oversees the research park, said employees at the park earn an average of about $72,500 annually.
Monday’s grand opening also showcased the new digs for II-VI, a Pennsylvania-based high-tech manufacturer.
Vincent Mattera, the company’s executive vice president, said II-VI has grown from nine to 14 employees in the past six months.
“In six months, we’re going to be up to 20,” he said.
And if business continues to increase as expected, the company could grow to as many as 100 employees in the next few years, Mattera added.
Cochran said the research park, combined with the resources of the university and the community, was “an attractive reason for people to come here, work here and learn here.”
Said Shaw, “The presence of a major international manufacturers 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.”