Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, in partnership with the University of Rhode Island (URI), will be soliciting proposals from experienced industry, academic, and research partners to create a transformative Innovation Campus. The Innovation Campus aims to commercialize the world leading research occurring in Rhode Island and position Rhode Island as a center of high value employment.

 

The State of Rhode Island, under the leadership of Governor Gina M. Raimondo, is committed to advancing the innovation economy and supporting the creation of new high-skill jobs. In January, 2016, the Brookings Institution published Rhode Island Innovates: A Competitive Strategy for the Ocean State, which details key strategies and priority sectors for advancing Rhode Island’s economy.

In November 2016, Rhode Island voters approved a $20 million bond issue to create an Innovation Campus affiliated with URI that will bring together leading industry, academic, and research partners. The Innovation Campus is envisioned as a facility designed to stimulate collaborative research and development projects among academic and corporate tenants, with the goals of job growth and catalytic statewide impact. The campus pair world-class, cutting-edge research with proven industry leadership and investment. The inherent value of centers for academic-industry collaboration has been demonstrated at a number of facilities across the country including Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, Pennovation Works, and The Bridge at Cornell Tech.

The Commerce Corporation is seeking academic, institutional, and industry partners, with interest in opportunities to develop, program, and occupy the Innovation Campus. Development partners will be required to meet or exceed the State’s investment from bond proceeds.

 

Commerce Corporation and URI

The Commerce Corporation is a quasi-public agency focused on expanding and attracting businesses in and to Rhode Island. The Commerce Corporation provides a variety of services to companies including assistance with commercial real estate, business financing programs, and workforce training. The Commerce Corporation will lead the solicitation process on behalf of the State.

URI is the State of Rhode Island’s public research university and a critical partner in economic development and growth. URI offers 80 undergraduate and 70 graduate programs including leading programs in engineering, health, business, oceanography, and pharmaceutical sciences. Working closely with the Commerce Corporation throughout the solicitation process, URI will collaborate with the designated partner/team to develop and program the Innovation Campus.

 

Solicitation Process

Commerce Corporation will conduct a two-step solicitation process to select a project partner(s).

  • Invitation for expressions of interest to be issued in Spring 2017
  • Request for Proposals to be issued in Summer 2017
  • Technical assistance workshops will be offered to guide concept development
  • Commerce Corporation intends to select a development partner(s) by the end of 2017

 

About the University of Rhode Island