Author: Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Incyte Grows in Downtown Wilmington, DE

Incyte Chooses to Grow in Delaware with Investment in New Downtown Wilmington Site

Global biopharmaceutical company will relocate more than 300 Pennsylvania jobs with space for more than 500 new, future positions


May 22, 2024

WILMINGTON, Del. – Incyte, a Delaware-founded global biopharmaceutical company with a robust portfolio of treatments across oncology and inflammation and autoimmunity, has chosen downtown Wilmington, Delaware, for an expansion.

Incyte today announced it has purchased the Bracebridge I and Bracebridge III buildings at King and French streets in downtown Wilmington. The structures were built in the mid-1990s for MBNA and used by the bank until its 2006 merger with Bank of America, which eventually left both sites empty. Incyte will renovate the buildings, whose 517,307 square feet will almost double the company’s Delaware footprint, starting with Bracebridge I. The new space will allow Incyte to continue building its Delaware employee base by bringing in more than 300 employees currently working in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and provide space to grow and add more than 500 new positions across the two buildings in the future.

“Incyte’s decision to move their headquarters to downtown Wilmington is not only a big deal for the city – it’s a big deal for our state,” said Governor John Carney. “Incyte is a Delaware success story. Incyte grew out of its space at the DuPont Experimental Station and moved hundreds of employees into a renovated headquarters at Augustine Cut Off. Not only does this announcement mean more great jobs in our state – but it means that there is more opportunity for Incyte to keep doing good in our community and across the world. Incyte’s research makes a huge difference in peoples’ lives. We couldn’t be prouder to call them a Delaware-grown company and we’re excited about their next chapter. I want to thank Incyte’s leadership for their commitment to Delaware.”

Incyte was founded in Delaware in 2002 and has grown steadily over the last 22 years. The company has its European headquarters in Switzerland and maintains commercial operations and offices in other European locales as well as in Asia and Canada. Since 2014, Incyte’s global headquarters has been a former Wanamaker’s department store site just outside the Wilmington city limits in Alapocas. That location, which has been expanded to include three buildings, currently houses the company’s corporate and research and development teams.

Expanding its offices to downtown Wilmington will create numerous benefits for Incyte – vacated office space at the Alapocas campus will be converted into much-needed lab space and will accommodate the company’s projected future growth. The City of Wilmington will also benefit from the resulting reduction in office vacancy and the new-to-Wilmington jobs, which will be skilled, technical and managerial positions with annual salaries ranging from over $90,000 to over $200,000.

Following the May 20 Council for Development Finance meeting, DPP’s Noah Olson, Becky Harrington and Kurt Foreman were joined by Andrew Harton and Regina Mitchell of the Delaware Division of Small Business; Sean Park and James Williams of the City of Wilmington Office of Economic Development; and Catalina Loveman, Kevin Davis and Tom Tray of Incyte.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Incyte to Wilmington, a city historically known as the home of corporate innovation, creativity and development,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “Incyte is a company with motivated leadership that is addressing complex health needs throughout the world. And now, that important work will be conducted from an expanded company location in our city, and we couldn’t be more excited. In addition to enhancing the Wilmington business community, Incyte will provide a wonderful boost to our local economy. I offer thanks and appreciation from our entire city to Chief Executive Officer Hervé Hoppenot and the Incyte team and Governor John Carney and the state team for working with the city to make this happen.”

“Delaware has been our home for more than 20 years, and we are looking forward to expanding our operations in Wilmington and continuing to grow our company here,” said Incyte Chief Executive Officer Hervé Hoppenot. “We are grateful to the continued support of the state, the city and others, including DPP, who have supported our company and fostered innovation and growth in our region.”

DPP worked with Incyte – collaborating with the State of Delaware, the City of Wilmington and other partners – to explore Delaware sites for expansion. DPP also supported the company’s request to the Council on Development Finance for a Jobs Performance Grant of up to $9,177,075 and a Graduated Lab Space Grant of up to $5,670,000 from the Delaware Strategic Fund. Distribution of these grants is dependent upon the company meeting commitments as outlined to the CDF, which reviewed and approved Incyte’s request for up to $14,787,075 million in total funding.

“Incyte has been an innovative pillar of the Delaware business community since it was founded here in 2002, and Delaware Prosperity Partnership is pleased to support the company’s expansion into downtown Wilmington,” said Rod Ward, co-chair of DPP’s Board of Directors. “New jobs and capital investment of this project’s magnitude will provide a tremendous boost for the city and create opportunities that will benefit many Delaware families along with the community at large.”

###

DPP contact: Susan Coulby, Senior Manager, Communications, 302-983-5710 (cell), scoulby@choosedelaware.com

State of Delaware contact: Emily Hershman, Director of Communications, Office of Governor Carney, 302-943-0097 (cell), Emily.Hershman@delaware.gov

City of Wilmington contact: John Rago, Deputy Chief of Staff, Mayor’s Office, 302-420-7928, jrago@WilmingtonDE.gov

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

State Joins in on $635M Port Delaware

State Teams with Enstructure in Public-Private Enterprise to Build New Delaware Port Terminal

Expanded facility estimated to create 6,000 Delaware jobs


May 10, 2024

WILMINGTON, Del. – The State of Delaware will join the private operator of the Port of Wilmington, Enstructure, to build a new port terminal at a site in Edgemoor, Delaware. The Edgemoor industrial site was purchased in 2017 by the taxpayer-owned Diamond State Port Corporation (DSPC) which subsequently secured the necessary permits to construct a new port terminal.

This historic $635 million infrastructure project will be largest shipping terminal in Delaware since the current Port of Wilmington opened in 1923. The new state-of-the-art “green port” will ensure the long-term success of Delaware’s maritime industry, vastly improving the State’s competitiveness by quadrupling the port’s capacity for container cargo and enabling new and larger ships to be serviced. Construction of the Edgemoor port will take about three years.

The new Edgemoor terminal is estimated to create nearly 6,000 new jobs, including more than 3,100 direct jobs. Total state and local taxes generated from Edgemoor are estimated at $39.4 million annually. In addition, building the new facility will create more than 3,900 construction jobs and generate $42.3 million in tax revenues.

Once completed and fully operational, “Port Delaware,” including both the existing and new terminals, will generate a total of about 11,480 jobs and $76.2 million in tax revenues for the state, making it one of Delaware’s largest employment centers.

The existing Port of Wilmington is a significant source of high-paying jobs to support Delaware families. Many of its longshoremen earn annual incomes of more than $100,000, with a recent national report estimating the average annual salary of a maritime worker at $98,000.

Construction of the new port facility will be conducted in three phases, with the first to be completed over an estimated 32-month period. Much of the early work in the first phase will be focused on waterside construction – building a seawall, high deck and associated dredging. Landside construction of the actual terminal will come later with proactive public participation and community engagement. Phases two and three of the project will be built by Enstructure when business justifies the additional capacity.

The State will take on responsibility for approximately 31 percent of the cost of building the facility, or $195 million. Enstructure will pay most of the construction and equipment costs, beginning with $170 million to support Phase 1 of the project and an additional $165 million to complete phases 2 and 3, which equals 53 percent of the entire project. Remaining costs will come from federal sources and the DSPC. State funds will come from excess abandoned property revenues made available in previous state bond bills for specific one-time uses, including maritime terminal development.

A detailed explanation of the project, its benefits and the economic impact can be viewed here.

State leaders and Enstructure joined in their support of the new port:

“For decades, jobs at the Port of Wilmington have been a gateway into the middle class for thousands of workers and their families— the kind of jobs our state and country were built on,” said Governor John Carney. “This investment to expand the Port will position Delaware to compete for container cargo and larger ships. It will bring new, good-paying union jobs to Wilmington. I am pleased to see strong bipartisan support for this important and necessary next step in making the planned Edgemoor expansion a reality.”

House Speaker Valerie Longhurst said, “Investing in this new port is investing in Delaware’s future. One of the most important jobs we have as legislators is growing Delaware’s economy and keeping it strong. We need to build this new port to keep our maritime economy competitive in the years ahead. The benefits of this new port will be felt for generations by thousands of Delaware families who will be able to buy a house, send kids to college and improve their quality of life.”

“This announcement is a major step forward in our efforts to make the City of Wilmington a major engine of Delaware’s economy and a source of strong union jobs once again,” Joint Capital Improvement (Bond) Committee co-chair Senator Jack Walsh said on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus. “I want to thank Governor John Carney for his unwavering commitment to expand the Port of Wilmington. This investment in our future fulfills that promise and will help thousands of Delaware workers support their families with good-paying union jobs. My colleagues and I on the Bond Committee are committed to working with Enstructure and our next governor to see this project through to completion for future generations of Delaware workers.”

Senate Republican Leader Gerald Hocker added, “Investing in modern public infrastructure is a great way to ensure a strong economy for the future. The existing port has created jobs and small business opportunities for over 100 years. This new port will be a critical piece of strengthening Delaware’s economy for the next hundred years.”

“Our Port generates thousands of great paying jobs statewide from Delaware River & Bay Pilots in Sussex to longshoremen in Wilmington,” said House Republican Leader Mike Ramone. “Investing in Delaware’s infrastructure is a top priority. This state-of-the-art ‘green port’ terminal will not only result in the productive re-use of a highly visible but vacant industrial site, it also assures future Delawareans have access to maritime careers of the future.”

“I am excited for the opportunities this new port site will bring to Delaware. Thousands of Delawareans including many of my constituents will benefit from this construction whether directly through jobs or indirectly from the increased economic activity in their communities,” stated Bond Bill Chair Representative Deb Heffernan. “As I have said since this project was first theorized, a project of this size and scale only works with constant and consistent communication with the community. DSPC and Enstructure have made guarantees to hold community meetings, establish a community advisory board made up of local community members, and develop and continually update a website with information on the construction process. I will be watching to ensure these promises are kept and our community is kept up to date on this project that has the potential to benefit us all.”

“We are excited to partner with the State of Delaware, the Diamond State Port Corporation, the Delaware Building Trades and the International Longshoremen’s Association to significantly expand Delaware’s port infrastructure,” said Enstructure Co-CEOs Matthew Satnick and Philippe De Montigny. “The Port Delaware Container Terminal will broaden Enstructure’s terminal network and logistics services, while enhancing our ability to serve our customers.”

This article was originally posted on the State of Delaware website at https://news.delaware.gov/2024/05/08/delaware-to-join-public-private-partnership-to-build-new-port/.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Delaware Retains Triple-A Bond Rating

State of Delaware Retains Triple-A Bond Rating

Governor Announces Top Grade Received 24th Straight Year


May 1, 2024

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney has announced that the State of Delaware has once again received the highest possible AAA/Aaa ratings from the nation’s top rating services.

The State of Delaware received competitive bids on Tuesday for its upcoming sale of $359 million of General Obligation Bonds. The State’s bonds carry the highest possible ratings assigned by the nation’s major rating services – Fitch, Moody’s, KBRA and S&P Global Ratings – contributing to excellent results for the State and Delaware’s taxpayers.

“Delawareans deserve a state government that responsibly manages taxpayer dollars,” said Governor John Carney. “I was proud to work with then-Governor Tom Carper in the 1990s when Delaware first achieved a triple-A rating from the major bond rating agencies. Over the last quarter century – through good times and bad – our General Assembly and Governors worked hard to sustain our commitment to economic growth and responsible financial stewardship. I’m confident this will remain a top priority for Delaware’s leaders.”

Ratings are assigned based on criteria that include the State’s financial performance and management, overall debt load, and approach to long-term issues ranging from financial obligations to economic development trends. The highest ratings, Aaa/AAA, are granted to states that are best managed and prepared to meet debt obligations during periods of recession or fiscal stress. The higher a state’s credit rating, the lower its cost to repay bonds.

“Bond buyers continue to show a strong appetite for investing in Delaware. Despite a significantly higher interest rate environment today than just a couple years ago, today’s bids were very competitive,” said Secretary of Finance Rick Geisenberger. “The State’s total interest costs on its new bonds is 3.51%. That’s an increase of about 40 basis points versus last year’s bonds, consistent with Federal Reserve Policy moves over the last year. State taxpayers also realized $6.1 million in savings by refinancing $77 million of existing debt.”

All three rating reports related to the upcoming sale noted the importance of the State’s responsible budget practices and debt management practices. Fitch stressed the “proactive management and institutionalized protections designed to ensure surplus operations.” S&P’s report commented, “the State limits tax-supported debt…and adheres to clearly defined affordability parameters and rapid amortization.” Moody’s focused their comments on “strong limits on appropriations … while allocating surplus funds to non-recurring projects.” All agencies continue to regard the ratings as “stable” underpinned by the state’s strong reserves and continued economic growth.

“Delaware’s financial condition has never been stronger,” said Treasurer Colleen Davis. “The Delaware Treasury in collaboration with the Cash Management Policy Board continues to monitor strong liquidity and reserves. This lowers the State’s borrowing costs and increases interest income available for critical investments in schools, public safety, and our quality of life.”

Proceeds of the sale will fund a portion of the State’s capital program as well as refund previous bonds to realize debt service savings. Closing on the sale and receipt of bond proceeds is scheduled for May 15, 2024.

Rating reports can be found at the Delaware Department of Finance’s website.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Sustainable Infrastructure

Delaware’s Strategies for Sustainable Infrastructure

The growing risk of rising sea levels and more unpredictable weather underscore the critical need for sustainable multi-modal transportation and resilient infrastructure in coastal communities across the United States. Leveraging over $1 billion in federal funds accompanied by state legislation, Delaware is making significant advancements in fostering innovative initiatives to reduce emissions and promote environmentally-friendly infrastructure solutions.

The 2023 Climate Action Implementation Report

As directed by the Delaware Climate Change Solutions Act of 2023, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) assembled the first Climate Action Plan Implementation Report in 2023. This report details a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maximizing resilience to the impacts of climate change. Significant programs include $44 million dedicated to new bike and pedestrian infrastructure to encourage green transportation and $27 million towards reducing on-road transportation emissions. These investments showcase Delaware’s proactive approach to supporting sustainable transportation infrastructure and will help the state reach its goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030.

Electric Vehicles and Alternative Energy

Delaware is also taking strides to encourage green transportation options. The Clean Transportation Incentive Program, complemented by federal tax incentives, offers a cash rebate to Delaware families for the purchase or lease of new electric vehicles (EVs) and for the installation of Level 2 EV charging stations. With 8,000 EVs registered and 281 public charging ports as of October 2023, EV adoption in Delaware continues to grow. Additionally, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has plans to further this progress with an almost $18 million investment in a network of fast charging stations along major highways like I-95 and Route 1. The state is also on track to convert 20% of its vehicle fleet to electric by 2025, setting a positive example for residents to follow.

Additionally, though still in the preliminary stage, the federally-recognized Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub (MACH2) partnership between Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey aims to generate clean hydrogen to supply various industries. A key transportation-related component of the proposal is the use of hydrogen-powered vehicles by DART, Delaware’s multi-modal transit system, as well as potential hydrogen refueling stations for long-haul trucks that operate on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Another key alternative energy proposal is a biogas project spearheaded by Bioenergy Devco in Sussex County which received necessary land permits in late 2023 to transform organic waste from the poultry industry into renewable natural gas, or biogas. This biogas will supply Sussex County customers through local utility provider Chesapeake Utilities, supporting the reuse of materials previously discarded.

Resilient Infrastructure

To prepare for the impacts of climate change and invest in resilient infrastructure, DelDOT developed a Resilience Improvement Plan that focuses on segments of the transportation network most susceptible to flooding. This plan provides a roadmap for thoughtful investment in an equitable transportation system, considering both the design and maintenance of roadways to mitigate the impact of adverse climate events as well as evaluating the impact of sea level rise and natural hazards. DelDOT is currently completing an improvement plan along State Route 1 south of Dewey Beach to the Maryland border and will develop a similar roadmap on State Route 9 between New Castle and Kent County.

Delaware is also making critical investments in electric infrastructure. The Grid Resiliency Grants program allocates funding to utility companies for improvements to the electric grid as the transition to electric home heating and EVs increases the strain on the current network. This strategic investment provides $3 million to ensure grid stability and reduce the likelihood of service disruptions. Additional goals of the program include investing in efficient and clean energy infrastructure, supporting work-based learning opportunities, and engaging communities historically underserved by existing energy infrastructure.

Looking Toward the Future

Through strategic investments in electric vehicles, green transportation systems, and resilient infrastructure, Delaware is moving toward its goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a more sustainable future. While change does not happen overnight, Delaware has an actionable plan to mitigate climate risks while supporting economic development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

UD Hosts SABRE Center Groundbreaking

Focused on the Future

University of Delaware leadership, members of the UD Board of Trustees and elected officials break ground for the SABRE Center on UD’s STAR Campus.

UD marks milestone with SABRE Center groundbreaking


Article by Karen B. Roberts
Photos by Evan Krape

April 26, 2024

University of Delaware leaders, Delaware’s Congressional delegation and members of the life sciences industry gathered Monday, April 22, to mark the next chapter in the development of the Securing American Biomanufacturing Research and Education (SABRE) Center.

Despite the chilly breeze, there were smiles all around at the event, held on the University’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus.

The groundbreaking kicks off the construction phase of the SABRE Center, a pilot scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility that will sit adjacent to the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), which is housed in UD’s Ammon Pinizzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center. The SABRE Center will complement the biopharmaceutical research and development activities of NIIMBL and the larger biopharmaceutical industry in Delaware and the broader region.

The project is supported with federal and state funding and directly aligns with the State of Delaware’s priority of economic growth in the biopharmaceutical industry, and the larger life sciences sector. Together, SABRE and NIIMBL will provide Delaware with a unique position in the region of having resources to support research and development, pilot scale production and workforce training.

While still in the design phase, the SABRE Center is envisioned as a place to scale up and mature manufacturing innovations and technologies that are essential to ensuring broad access to novel biopharmaceutical medicines. It also is viewed as a place to design, develop and disseminate best practices and workforce training programs for people who want to develop the skills necessary to work in a biomanufacturing environment.

“I personally believe that the SABRE Center is going to mark an inflection point in our national competitiveness in this advanced manufacturing industry and to our resilience in the face of future public health threats,” said Kelvin Lee, UD interim vice president for research, scholarship and innovation and NIIMBL director, in opening remarks. “I also believe that the SABRE Center marks our local region’s journey moving from having a strong biotech community to ultimately being recognized as a home to a vibrant industrial ecosystem.”

UD President Dennis Assanis thanked the Congressional delegation and other dignitaries in the audience for their contributions to UD and the instrumental role they have played in fostering the biopharmaceutical ecosystem in Delaware. Groundbreaking ceremonies, he added, signal hope and the promise of new endeavors and exciting achievements to come, from the development and manufacturing of new products that can save lives and advance wellness to the creation of new manufacturing jobs that don’t yet exist.

“Through the SABRE Center, NIIMBL and many other public and private entities in the life science industry, Delaware is well on its way to becoming a unique and vibrant hub for biopharma research and manufacturing … a place where brilliant ideas become realities,” Assanis said.

UD President Dennis Assanis, joined by Delaware’s Congressional delegation, addresses UD leaders, members of the life sciences industry and other guests.

20 years in the making

Delaware’s strategic investment into the life sciences sector began about two decades ago, with the recruitment of private-sector investment to the state and higher education institutions with the goal of establishing a biotech community. One early outcome of that strategy was the formation of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper reflected on the bold and promising new direction that is developing on the STAR Campus to provide access to medicines and biopharmaceuticals that can help people lead healthier lives.

“Today’s groundbreaking builds upon all the years of work that have gone into transforming the once-shuttered Chrysler plant into the research and development hub it is today,” Carper said. “This facility will be a training center for our future biopharmaceutical workforce, as well as a testing center for biopharma companies to test their products in an FDA-regulated environment — giving us a competitive advantage to attract companies and researchers to the First State. I’m so proud of the different ways Delaware is continuing to be a force in R&D. Here, we have a vibrant research community at the University of Delaware, especially in the life sciences, thanks in large part to the Delaware Biotechnology Institute. This has served as a great model for collaboration among education, and the private and public sector.”

In 2017, UD launched NIIMBL, a national-scale public-private partnership focused on biopharmaceutical manufacturing and innovation to advance new technologies, to secure domestic supply chains and to train the biomanufacturing workforce.

A passionate advocate for economic growth, social justice and innovation, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons remarked on the more than 200 companies that are part of NIIMBL and the over $230 million in federal investment that already has been devoted to creating a biopharmaceutical ecosystem and the additional $350 million in private sector co-investment.

“But the potential is far greater. We’re about to do a groundbreaking for what is the next phase of this project. It’s not a manufacturing facility, but a test bed, a place where the new techniques of manufacturing are going to be tried out, proven out and demonstrated,” Coons said. “Spinning out from that will be a remarkable next generation of opportunities for Delawareans to work in biotech and manufacturing, for companies to be launched here and regionally and for [Delaware] to continue to be not just regional or national but global leaders in innovation.”

Kelvin Lee, UD interim vice president for Research, Scholarship and Innovation and director of NIIMBL, said the SABRE Center will mark “an inflection point” in national competitiveness in the advanced manufacturing industry.

Turning vision into reality

U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a leading voice on issues related to the economy and the future of work, pointed to the SABRE Center’s planned 70,000 square feet of research space and modern technology that will one day train Delaware workers in manufacturing biopharmaceuticals.

“This is about turning vision into reality for our health, our economy and our future,” Blunt Rochester said. “It’s about safety and effectiveness. It is about the jobs of today and [the jobs] of the future. It’s about strengthening our supply chains.”

The need to create more domestic capacity for manufacturing is a reality that came into sharp focus during the coronavirus pandemic. Bringing lifesaving technologies and products to market is challenging. It requires infrastructure, investment and intentionality. Collaboration is key. These activities can be bolstered by marrying academia with the private and public sectors, Blunt Rochester said.

Designed as a current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) environment, the SABRE Center will serve as both a testbed for new technologies and a hands-on training facility on STAR Campus, helping to bring lifesaving or life-enhancing medicines and vaccines to scale and ultimately into the market. In this way, the SABRE Center will support the innovation and R&D happening at NIIMBL, while filling the gap between developing new technology in a lab setting and commercializing it in a full-scale manufacturing facility.

“SABRE exemplifies the power of state and federal investments that support jobs and nurture innovation. This project, located right in a bioscience ecosystem, supports the First State’s student pipeline and ever-growing biopharmaceutical workforce,” added Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, the state of Delaware’s representative on NIIMBL and a professor of nursing at UD. “I’m competitive, so I want Delaware to excel regionally, be a destination and provide the best quality of life for our residents. SABRE is a solution to sustain and create jobs for the state as well as respond to industry and global challenges. As a research scientist and STEM champion, this is a big deal.”

Additionally, the UD STAR Campus’ location along the I-95 corridor and proximity to other biopharmaceutical activity nearby from New York to Greater Washington, D.C., is a tremendous opportunity for Delaware to add capacity in a key location along the East Coast.

Delaware Gov. John Carney, who was unable to attend the groundbreaking, is a long-standing champion of UD research and helped to secure funding support for the SABRE Center and NIIMBL, among other projects. In a statement, Carney illustrated the value of supporting such programs and the partnerships and collaboration necessary to bring them to fruition.

“Our partnerships with institutions of higher education have never been more important,” Carney said. “We need to support programs that build the future workforce and encourage businesses to land and grow in the First State. SABRE will complement the nationally recognized work in biosciences happening at NIIMBL and the University of Delaware. I look forward to SABRE’s contribution in Delaware’s science and technology sector.”

This article was originally posted on the University of Delaware website at: https://www.udel.edu/udaily/2024/april/biopharmaceutical-manufacturing-research-education-center-sabre-niimbl/.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

PSI Will Expand in Newark, Delaware

Phase Sensitive Innovations Chooses Delaware for State-of-the-Art Lab, Manufacturing and R&D Expansion

DPP’s Erica Crell, Dr. Dennis Prather of PSI, DPP’s Noah Olson and Dr. Ahmed Sharkway of PSI following the April 22 CDF meeting.

Growth of veteran-owned, Newark-based company supports production of semiconductor components and other advanced technologies for DOD contracts and private-sector clients


WILMINGTON, Del. – Phase Sensitive Innovations – a veteran-owned, University of Delaware spinoff that specializes in radio-frequency components, devices and systems – has chosen to expand operations in its hometown of Newark, Delaware, to support its continued growth within the domestic defense and global semiconductor industries.

PSI will occupy an approximately 12,000-square-foot site along with its current 20,000-square-feet facility, both of which are located in Sandy Brae Industrial Park in Newark. Along with the physical expansion, PSI plans to expand staff from its current roster of 80 – all but three of whom are engineers – to more than 100 by the end of 2024 and add 30 to 40 more jobs in subsequent years

All of the new jobs will be highly skilled technical positions that provide a high degree of on-the-job training. PSI plans to continue recruiting locally from the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College to fill these roles.

“It’s rewarding to see a Delaware-born company expand in its hometown, adding highly skilled jobs to our workforce and increasing manufacturing and lab space in Newark,” said Governor John Carney. “I’m pleased by Phase Sensitive Innovations’ work to recruit employees from our institutions of higher education. Those relationships and support from the Delaware Prosperity Partnership create a vibrant workforce and strengthen our economy in the First State.”

“I am thrilled Dr. Prather is going to continue expanding in Delaware,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “Phase Sensitive Innovations is a remarkable innovative company that manufactures the next generation of technology which translates radio signals into optical signals in no small part because of their patent portfolio and great employees. Dr. Prather and his team of innovators have taken an incredible idea and turned it into a technology that is now contributing to the vibrancy of the Newark economy, the security of the United States and our global competitiveness. From my first meeting with Dennis in the basement of Evans Hall at UD, to my recent visit where I saw his facility in Newark bursting at the seams, PSI is one of the better examples of how strong IP, a great team of people and initial help from SBIRs and STTRs can help research move from the early development to rapidly scaling.”

PSI’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will include more than 8,000 square feet of lab space and will focus on thin-film lithium niobate wafers and devices. This technology enables next-generation communications and radio frequency systems, and PSI is believed to be the only domestic supplier positioned to manufacture these items domestically. The expansion also will free up space in the original building that will be used to expand research and development operations.

PSI has received $110 million in ongoing Department of Defense contracts – extending across Army, Navy, Air Force and Office of the Undersecretary of Defense programs as well as related work with the National Air and Space Administration and the Department of Energy – and other transactional agreements since its founding in 2007. The company expects to book more than $20 million in additional contracts over the next year.

PSI also works directly with prime contractors and other commercial partners to manufacture state-of-the-industry photonic components. The company recently signed a transition agreement to manufacture and supply original equipment manufacturer components to a global leader in photonic components and aims to grow further in the commercial sector with advanced technologies for wireless communications, broadband, smart devices and other applications.

“Congratulations to Dennis Prather and the entire PSI team on the expansion of their facility in Newark,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “It’s critical to Delaware’s job market to retain successful homegrown businesses and to ensure success by creating more high-paying jobs right here in our community.”

DPP has consulted with PSI for several years and worked with the company since mid-2023 to explore growth opportunities. DPP supported PSI’s request to the Council on Development Finance for a Jobs Performance Grant of up to $139,800 and a Graduated Lab Space Grant of up to $566,090 from the Delaware Strategic Fund. Distribution of these grants is dependent upon the company meeting commitments as outlined to the CDF, which reviewed and approved PSI’s request for up to $705,890 in total funding.

“Delaware is so well-placed – with a prime location in the Mid-Atlantic region – and it’s an untapped resource when it comes to technical talent,” said PSI President Dennis Prather, who is also a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware and a veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve and who founded PSI with fellow faculty member Christopher Schuetz. “We are very grateful to the State of Delaware for supporting the expansion of our manufacturing facility, which will enable PSI to become a major provider of a key technology to the defense and commercial sectors for years to come.”

###

About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Created in 2017, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (choosedelaware.com) is the nonprofit public/private organization that leads Delaware’s statewide economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and support private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent. To learn more about manufacturing and research and development in Delaware click here.

About Phase Sensitive Innovations

Phase Sensitive Innovations (PSI) is a small, high-technology company specializing in radio-frequency (RF) photonic devices, components and systems, with a particular focus on the millimeter wave (mmW) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. PSI produces high-quality and high-performance RF photonic devices, components and systems with applications that include mmW imaging and wireless communications systems such as 5G/B5G cellular, communications, radar and vision enhancement markets.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

FFI Ionix Chooses to Expand in Delaware

Fortescue Subsidiary Chooses Delaware for Expansion that will Bring New Hydrogen Economy Jobs to Kent County

New FFI Ionix site in Dover is first Central Delaware location benefiting from state Graduated Lab Space Grant funding


February 26, 2024

WILMINGTON, Del. – FFI Ionix Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue, a global green technology, energy and metals company, has chosen Dover, Delaware, to base its operations to support global decarbonization and establishment of the hydrogen economy.

FFI Ionix, which focuses on hydrogen technologies, will relocate from its approximately 15,000-square-foot site in Harrington to 60 Starlifter Avenue within the city limits of Dover. More than 22,000 square feet of the new facility’s almost 57,000 square feet will be lab space.

The physical expansion at the new location also builds capacity for future job expansion, with the potential for new professional and semi-skilled positions, including engineers, lab technicians, chemists, quality control personnel and production and warehouse associates.

“FFI Ionix’s decision to stay and grow in our state is great news for Delaware and our leadership in the hydrogen economy,” said Governor John Carney. “We recently announced investments in downtown Dover, and this expansion will bring even more activity to our state’s capital. This is what the Graduated Lab Space Grants and Strategic Fund are for: keeping and growing innovative companies here in the First State.”

FFI Ionix is part of Fortescue, a company that ranks 414th on the Forbes Global 2000 list, but its origins were founded in Delaware as Xergy. Xergy won more than $10 million in research and development funding and patented more than 100 of its membrane and device innovations before being acquired by Fortescue and transformed into FFI Ionix in 2021.

FFI Ionix is a leader in next-generation electrolysis technology, such as anion exchange membrane (AEM), and is a commercial supplier of membranes for water electrolysis, electrochemical compression, water transmission and fuel cells. The company’s advanced ion-exchange membranes enable more efficient and cost-effective electrolysis, a crucial process for producing green hydrogen from water, and represents continued leadership in membrane research, development and production that benefits customers around the world.

Its focus on innovation in the hydrogen economy aligns with green hydrogen production goals set by the recently designated and federally funded Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub (MACH2), in which Delaware companies will play key roles.

Over the last two years, Delaware Prosperity Partnership – assisted by Kent Economic Partnership and the City of Dover – helped FFI Ionix explore potential Delaware sites while the company also considered out-of-state options. DPP supported FFI Ionix’s request to the Council on Development Finance for a Graduated Lab Space Grant of up to $1,604,960; a Jobs Performance Grant of up to $70,400; and a Jobs Retention Grant of up to $42,500 from the Delaware Strategic Fund.

Distribution of these grants is dependent upon the company meeting commitments as outlined to the CDF, which reviewed and approved FFI Ionix’s request for up to $1,717,860 in total funding. This marks the first time that a Graduated Lab Space Grant has been awarded for a site in Kent County (Central Delaware) since the program was piloted in 2021.

“This is very exciting for Dover and the greater Dover community,” said Dover Mayor Robin R. Christiansen. “Developing here reassures more jobs and more opportunities for our younger generations, in an industry with the potential to grow, all while decreasing our carbon footprint.”

###

About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Created in 2017, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (choosedelaware.com) is the nonprofit public/private organization that leads Delaware’s statewide economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and support private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent.

About FFI Ionix

FFI Ionix Inc. is a technology development company focused on global technology leadership and commercialization of hydrogen technologies, including ion-exchange membranes for water electrolysis, electrochemical compression, water transmission and fuel cells. The United States-based company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue, a global green technology, energy and metals company recognized for its culture, innovation and industry-leading development of infrastructure, mining assets and green energy initiatives.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

DSB Names Latest EDGE Grant Winners

Delaware Division of Small Business Selects 10 Winners in Latest Round of Statewide EDGE Grant Competition

Application period for next cycle of Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion funding ends March 1


The Delaware Division of Small Business has recognized 10 small businesses as winners of the eighth round of the Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion (EDGE) competition. Awardees in the latest round of the competition include a company looking to develop residential electric vehicle chargers, one developing an improved hand/arm prosthetic that’s easier to use, one developing an adapted mobility device for getting into bed and one looking to purchase cutting-edge computers and streaming equipment for its esports events and camps.

Governor John Carney, Deputy Secretary of State Kristopher Knight and Division of Small Business Director Regina Mitchell announced the grant recipients during an event on the site of one of the winning companies, Delaware Dynamix in Harbeson, Sussex County. All winners were selected from entries made during the Fall 2023 application round.

“Building a strong economy starts with supporting our small business community,” Carney said. “The EDGE Grant program provides young businesses with much-needed capital assistance that they may not have access to otherwise. I’m excited to see how this round of EDGE Grant recipients use this funding to grow their business.”

“Helping small businesses succeed in Delaware is so important to maintaining a healthy economy,” said Knight. “With the assistance of the EDGE Grants, the state is fostering innovation by giving them a much-needed financial boost to make their dreams become a reality.”

Businesses that are less than seven years old and employ no more than 10 full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) are eligible to apply. The grants are awarded through a competitive selection process, starting with a thorough internal review to select 16 finalists to pitch their proposals to an outside expert panel of judges. Ten companies are then selected for awards. Five STEM-based companies each receive up to $100,000 for eligible expenses while five Entrepreneur Class (non-STEM) businesses each receive up to $50,000.

“The EDGE competition allows our division to do what it was created to do – help small businesses start and grow,” said Mitchell. “The quality of the fall applications was so strong, so it made it more challenging to select the finalists. Each EDGE round continues to show progress in terms of the quality of submissions.”

The first EDGE Grant round for 2024 began accepting applications on February 1. Deadline for this round is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1. Visit de.gov/edge for access to the application and other resources.

EDGE is a matching grant program, with the Division of Small Business matching a winning business’s investment on a 3-to-1 basis. The business can spend EDGE funds on expenses that help improve the company’s long-term chances of success, such as a marketing campaign to help acquire more customers or purchasing a needed piece of equipment that can increase production capacity.

Including this round, $5.6 million has been awarded to 90 promising Delaware small businesses since EDGE was launched in 2019. Industries represented have ranged from wearable medical devices to farming to restaurants.

This was the eighth round of funding for the program. Approximately 115 businesses applied for funding in September, and 16 finalists gave public presentations in November at the University of Delaware’s FinTech building on the STAR Campus. From those, the following recipients were selected:

Stem Class

Marin’s Med (Georgetown)
Marin’s Med is a pioneering prosthetics innovations company, distinguished by their woman-owned status and their Chief Technical Officer (CTO), an amputee and accomplished engineer. Marin’s Med’s goal with EDGE Grant funding is to move through the final stages of research and development prototyping through final design and manufacturing to ensure the innovative ProHensor reaches those with limb loss. Funding will be used to purchase manufacturing equipment and for marketing assistance.

OmniPotential Energy Partners (Wilmington)
OmniPotential Energy Partners will use funding to build a proof-of-concept pilot program of curbside, residential electric vehicle (EV) chargers and install them on Delaware properties. The company will use funds to finalize their supply chain, identify final business partners, solicit seed customers and tool-up to build and deploy a pilot program of approximately 10 Curbstar devices in Delaware over 12 months. Curbside, residential EV chargers are a potential solution to EV owners who live in multi-family units with street or lot parking only. Learn more from founder Cora Castle in this Delaware Prosperity Partnership “Profiles in Innovation” feature.

Read Cora Castle’s Profile in Innovation

RunDNA (Wilmington)
ACE Running LLC (doing business as “RunDNA”) brings running gait analysis to all levels of runner. Their service leverages innovative camera and software technologies at a competitive price point to provide real time analysis of running gait. This powerful tool is used by running professionals throughout the world to effectively modify a runner’s form to prevent injury and optimize performance. RunDNA’s flagship product is their Helix 3D running gait analysis device. The company’s EDGE award will allow them to expand their motion capture capabilities to walking gait. Funding will be used for purchasing equipment, software licenses and covering research and development staff costs. Learn more from founder Doug Adams in this Delaware Prosperity Partnership video.

Sindri Materials Corp. (Wilmington)
Sindri Materials is a manufacturer and product development company dedicated to delivering ultra-high quality (UHQ) graphene (carbon) materials and products to market. Sindri can produce graphene that is a completely continuous, large-area sheet that yields electrical performance. With the EDGE grant Sindri will develop a high-capacity graphene manufacturing system. Its product can accelerate drug and vaccine development by optimizing the speed and resolution structural biologists image macromolecules using a ground-breaking new method called cryogenic electron microscopy (the “cryo-em” market). The graphene grids essentially hold the macromolecules in place for imaging.

Studio Charter (Wilmington)
Studio Charter has begun making virtual studios that eliminate the need for costly video productions. These studios can be installed in any 10×15 or larger room at a customer’s home or office. They are permanent studio installations with true cinema cameras that can be run remotely, without a crew, for simple, repeatable genres like podcasts and testimonials. The studios allow recording of cinematic medium-closeups in any location, real or imagined. The goal of Studio Charter is to make video production accessible to anyone. Nonprofits, schools and government will all finally be able to produce video at a high level and volume. EDGE funding will be used for staff, design, prototyping and materials costs.

Entrepreneur Class

Baybird Orthodontics (Smyrna)
Baybird Orthodontics is a minority women-owned business located in Smyrna run by Dr. Sita Patel. The clinic offers a range of orthodontic treatments, including orthodontic appliances, traditional braces and clear aligners. However, the one service they currently do not provide is 3D printed braces in house. The EDGE Grant funding will be used to purchase a 3D printing system to allow production of clear aligners on site, reducing the cost of orthodontic care for customers. Funds will also be used to support the aligner machine by providing additional equipment, supplies and a computer. Marketing and advertising expenses are also included.

Delaware Dynamix (Harbeson)
Delaware Dynamix LLC, which just opened for classes, provides gymnastics instruction and associated activities for children up to age 17, as well as similar opportunities for adults. A market analysis determined a lack of services like theirs within a convenient drive to the Milton, Lewes and Rehoboth Beach area, thereby supporting the need for such a facility. The owners boast more than 30 years of experience in gymnastics and youth sports instruction. They will use EDGE Grant funds for equipment and staffing at their 7000-square-foot facility for a Little Ninja program aimed at young boys, as well as for gymnastics and trampoline programming for special needs children.

Futures First Gaming (Middletown/Wilmington)
Futures First Gaming LLC (FFG), is a STEM.org™ Accredited Educational Technology, Media and Esports Entertainment Company. FFG brings together gamers and esports enthusiasts to compete, build community and engage in educational opportunities to explore career pathways in STEM and relevant esports disciplines. The company is known for its accreditation in educational technology, media and esports entertainment. EDGE Grant funding will be used to acquire cutting-edge gaming and streaming computers, software and furniture for an esports technology workforce training facility. Funding will also allow the company to organize more workforce development trainings, esports events and esports camps. Learn more about Futures First Gaming from founder Stephen Sye in this Delaware Prosperity Partnership feature.

Read Futures First Gaming Feature

The Hive on Loockerman (Dover)
The Hive is a minority-owned, member-based business and event center that aims to support entrepreneurs and nonprofit founders by providing them with the space, equipment and resources necessary for business growth and long-term success. The Hive primarily offers hourly space rentals and a range of business-building services, including corporate event planning, marketing, basic brand development, document printing and secure shredding. EDGE Grant funding will be used for facade improvements and construction to meet code requirements and for design, technology and equipment upgrades to better serve customers.

The LeGrand Company (Hockessin)
Bed Ledge is an adaptive mobility product designed to assist individuals with decreased strength, coordination or balance in safely lifting their legs into bed. The inability to safely navigate in and out of bed leads to increased risk for injury and falls and can determine whether someone can safely live in his/her home without assistance. Bed Ledge is the first leave-in-place device that allows the user to move from a sitting position to reclining through incremental movements, thereby decreasing risk of injury and promoting independence. EDGE funding will be used to fund the creation of plastic injection molds and a first production run of 500 units, packaging and third-party product testing.

The EDGE Grant is just one of the many programs and services the Delaware Division of Small Business provides to help small businesses start and grow in Delaware. From startups to experienced business owners looking to expand, the DSB’s team is committed to providing one-on-one assistance and counseling to help small businesses succeed. Assistance is available in a variety of areas, including navigating government processes, connecting owners with the Division’s resource partner organizations and identifying funding opportunities for which businesses may qualify. All of the programs and services DSB offers are outlined at business.delaware.gov.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

New Business Dean Has Big Plans at UD

New Dean Focuses on Making UD Business School Authority in Multiple Fields, Producer of Must-Hire Graduates

Photo: University of Delaware/Evan Krape

Dr. Oliver Yao aims to expand research and digital tech initiatives and increase student experience opportunities and programming in high-demand market skills


Dr. Oliver Yao, who was appointed dean of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics in 2023, says he’s excited at the potential he sees to put UD and Lerner on the leading edge of financial technology (fintech) and increased research productivity.

Yao came to UD after 20 years at Lehigh University, where his final role was overseeing graduate programs and graduate students. He was attracted to UD’s vision for collaboration on technological innovation, featuring researchers, industry and the community.

“I would like executives from at least Boston down to Washington, D.C., saying they must go to Lerner and the University of Delaware to hire students. And we want a reputation that will attract more great professors, great faculty, great staff and great researchers to the University.”

Dr. Oliver Yao

Yao sees UD and the Lerner College as a critical partner to the region’s economic growth. He says the College has a responsibility to the community to provide opportunities for economic development with startup companies and the ability to influence policy with cutting-edge research.

Lerner has 163 faculty members serving 3,300 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students, with 17 undergraduate majors and 16 minors, nine master’s programs and four doctoral programs. Yao expects those numbers will grow quickly over the next few years. In the interview with Delaware Prosperity Partnership that follows here, he shares why.

What have you been focusing on in your first months at UD?

We’re focusing on being innovative and entrepreneurial. We’re developing greater technology competency in our majors and minors in fintech, adding more experiential learning opportunities and more global perspectives. We’re also adding new workshops on topics around generative artificial intelligence (AI).

Our Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE), Office of Graduate and MBA Programs and a cluster of faculty members has relocated to the FinTech Innovation Hub, which is located on the STAR Campus. We’re going to move the Ph.D. program to that building as well.

What’s the benefit of moving people into the Fintech Hub?

Fintech is interdisciplinary in our field. We have faculty from management information systems, finance and management to collaborate on research. We can also collaborate with our College of Engineering colleagues who are on the same floors with us and with companies on the STAR Campus. CEEE has access to resources to grow our economic education and financial literacy programs for K-12 schools in Delaware.

What are business and governmental leaders and alumni telling you they’d like to see?

They don’t really get into the curricular issues, but they want to help. We hope to introduce more leaders to our Executive Mentoring Program and Lerner Edge programs, which support professional and career development guidance for our students. They also are reinforcing the importance of being at the forefront of cutting-edge technology.

Everywhere I go, I hear businesses say they need people with generative AI skills. One executive said, “If you graduate any of them from Lerner, I’ll hire them.” So that’s a clear message to us. We need to revise our education to include high-demand market skills, including people and leadership skills.

What would you like to accomplish by the end of your first year?

I want to move Lerner’s research forward. Finding more grants and donations will be very important to support faculty research. I told my internal Dean’s Advisory Council that I want research to be the first thing we talk about when we meet, before we move on to other topics. That’s how I can show that this is my top priority.

Are you encouraging any particular research?

In general, I cannot tell our faculty what kind of research they need to do. But I can invest in grants for specific topics. For example, we’re going to appoint six FinTech Scholars and move them to the FinTech Innovation Hub. I do encourage our faculty to do more high-impact research that addresses grand challenges today. For example, I attended a research symposium about gender equity and equality where our researchers and faculty talked about their work.

What role do you see for Lerner outside the University?

Continuing to contribute, give back and being a partner with the local community. CEEE is a valued resource to the Delaware school system and in the state with programs such as Teach Children to Save Day.

The Lerner Diversity Council focuses on curricular and co-curricular transformation and strengthening community outreach and improving engagement. It partners with the Delaware LYTE program to familiarize high-school students with the University and the application process.

We are also partnering with the new Center for Accelerating Financial Equity (CAFÉ) in the FinTech Innovation Hub that supports early- to growth-stage fintech companies creating innovative solutions to advance financial wellness for underserved and low- to moderate-income communities. The first cohort of companies will arrive in early 2024.

And we plan to use more adjuncts from local businesses, particularly for special topics that our faculty may not have expertise in and those that expose our students to an entrepreneurial mindset.

Tell us more about expanding experiential learning at Lerner.

Redefining creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship is a core part of UD’s strategic plan and central to expanding experiential learning at Lerner. The Geltzeiler Trading Center enables finance students to use the same commercial software that Wall Street traders use to analyze stocks and make transactions. The Blue Hen Investment Club allows 50 students to manage a real-dollar investment portfolio. They have continued to achieve their goal of outperforming the S&P 500 Index for a long time.

Vita Nova is a student-operated and -managed restaurant on campus. We offer hands-on hotel management experience in the Courtyard by Marriott hotel and teaching facility on campus. The top-ranked Horn Entrepreneurship program is the creative engine for aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs with its pitch competitions and much more.

We must provide enough opportunity for all students to have these experiences. That’s the challenge I’m going to take on over the next few years.

Are there any technologies you’d like to see students or faculty better leverage?

On a broad scale, I would say generative AI. Our management information systems (MIS) faculty are the most familiar with this technology. However, all your faculty and students need to know what generative AI can do because it impacts all facets of business and the economy.

We’re in the process of creating a graduate certificate focusing on generative AI for business. We’re starting new courses, and we’re going to do more workshops on generative AI to make sure our faculty, staff and students are familiar with the technology.

In the past, our students have used Excel and Python to create models to solve business problems, but those applications may soon be obsolete. When students graduate, employers won’t be looking for Python and Excel skills. They’ll be looking for generative AI modeling skills. I want our students to be able to list those skills on their resumes.

What do you want to hear people saying about Lerner in five to 10 years?

I want us to have three to five fields – we’re not large enough to cover everything – where people point to us and say we’re the authority. We have some great researchers, but I want Lerner’s research profile to rank among the most productive in the country. During strategic planning this spring, I’ll be asking our faculty to help me decide on areas beyond fintech. That could include finance, economics, leadership, corporate governance, supply chain management, accounting and compliance.

I would like executives from at least Boston down to Washington, D.C., saying they must go to Lerner and the University of Delaware to hire students. And we want a reputation that will attract more great professors, great faculty, great staff and great researchers to the University.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Compact Membrane Systems Chooses Del.

Compact Membrane Systems* Chooses New Castle, Delaware, for $3.1M Expansion to Help Meet Market Demands

Expanding with 15,080 square feet of lab, other space will allow company to add 38 new full-time jobs, tripling current staff by 2026


WILMINGTON, Del.  – Compact Membrane Systems Inc. (CMS), a 30-year-old Delaware company whose advanced membrane systems address the challenge of decarbonizing heavy industry, has chosen New Castle, Delaware, for a $3.1 million facility and workforce expansion that will help address massive market demand.

CMS formerly operated completely out of a location on Water Street in Newport. The company recently moved much of its operations to a temporary site on Reads Way in New Castle near where construction on its new facility is ongoing. The expansion includes building 10,864 square feet of research and development and manufacturing-focused lab spaces along with more than 4,216 square feet of additional new space. The company also plans to add at least 38 new full-time employees to its current staff of 19 over the next three years.

“We’re grateful that Compact Membrane Systems will build on its 30-year history in our state,” said Governor John Carney. “CMS has an important mission to decarbonize heavy industry. Their decision to grow in Delaware will help make our environment more sustainable and add jobs to our state.”

Founded in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1993 by former DuPont scientist Stuart Nemser and now led by his daughter, CMS delivers technology solutions that capture and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, avert global warming and transform the industry into a long-term sustainable enterprise. With a massive shortage of membrane fiber needed to meet industry demands, CMS is expanding to help fill the growing needs of the carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) market, which has tremendous growth potential in the fight against climate change.

CMS has been shifting from a small, research-based company utilizing federal grants for R&D projects to further its business objectives to a rapidly growing commercial entity with a double bottom line – marrying commercial success with social responsibility – by delivering innovative new products while also capturing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As the company has evolved, including raising $16.5 million in a Series A venture capital round in 2023, CMS has investigated where best to continue its growth.

The company considered moving to locations closer to investors and potential customers, including Houston, Texas, and areas further West. However, CMS’s First State roots, history of hiring local talent and commitment to community involvement and sector leadership here helped drive its decision to continue to expand its engineering, manufacturing and sales footprint in Delaware.

“It’s vitally important we keep legacy companies like CMS in our communities growing and thriving,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “We have the talent right here in our state, and this expansion presents opportunities for our workforce to stay right here at home.”

Delaware Prosperity Partnership supported CMS’s request to the Council on Development Finance for a Graduated Lab Space Grant of up to $760,480 and a Jobs Performance Grant of up to $115,000 from the Delaware Strategic Fund. Distribution of these grants is dependent upon the company meeting commitments as outlined to the CDF, which reviewed and approved CMS’s request.

“CMS has grown up as a Delaware company and, through this state support, is excited to cement our future in Delaware,” said Erica Nemser, CMS’s CEO, who also chairs the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance Board. “We love the resources and opportunity Delaware has to offer, from excellent scientific and technical talent to the commitment to manufacturing advanced technology to address climate emissions.”

* Since the publication of this release, Compact Membrane Systems has rebranded as Ardent to reflect the company’s next chapter as an innovative, high-growth company ardently committed to accelerating decarbonization and transforming the global industrial and energy landscape.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Startup302 Entries Extended Through 2/4

Delaware’s Fourth Annual Startup302 Funding Contest Now Accepting Applications through February 4

Ventures with underrepresented founders will compete for share of more than $130,000 in cash grants, plus mentoring and connections


WILMINGTON, Del.  – Applications for Delaware’s fourth annual Startup302 funding competition are now being accepted through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, February 4, from technology-enabled startups with high-growth potential and at least one founding team member from an underrepresented group. Prizes include cash grants from a prize pool of over $130,000 along with mentorship opportunities and connections with potential investors and key influencers.

Coordinated by Delaware Prosperity Partnership and innovation-supporting partners from throughout the Delaware business community and beyond, Startup302 launched in 2020 and has provided $643,000 in funding to 37 ventures since the first finals in 2021. This year’s categories are Early Stage, FinTech, Life Sciences, Environmental Impact and Delaware Impact, reflecting Delaware’s evolving innovation and industry landscape.

Startups must be tech-enabled with at least one founder from an underrepresented group: women; people of color, including African Americans, Latin Americans and Native Americans; and members of the LGBTQ+ community – all groups whose ventures are underinvested in relative to their demographic’s percentage of overall United States population. Because Startup302 seeks to foster diverse perspectives, promote inclusive and equitable consideration and attract diverse communities of founders to the region, startups don’t have to be Delaware-based to enter. Thanks to sponsors, there is no charge to enter.

“Startup302 helps strengthen Delaware’s innovation ecosystem by supporting entrepreneurs seeking financial and networking boosts for their businesses,” said DPP Director of Innovation Noah Olson. “We’re honored to provide them access to key funding and facilitators that can make a difference in their development and enable them to realize their potential.”

Competitors will be chosen from applications submitted by the February 4 deadline and go through multiple rounds of consideration before finalists are notified of their status on April 16. The live, in-person pitch contest will take place in Wilmington on May 16, and winners will be announced that day.

This year’s Startup302 sponsors include Ashland, Bronze Valley, Delaware Art Museum, Delaware Division of Small Business, Delaware Limo, Delaware Small Business Development Center, Discover Bank, DuPont, FMC, Highmark Delaware, Hyatt, M&T Bank, Potter Anderson, StartOut, The Innovation Space, True Access Capital Women’s Business Center, University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship and World Trade Center Delaware.

Additional partners include Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce, New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, Emerging Enterprise Center, Chesapeake Ag Innovation Center, Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, Delaware State University College of Business and Sara Crawford.

An online information session for prospective entrants was recorded in December and is available for prospective applicants to review at startup302.org. The video, which is led by DPP’s Erica Crell, answers frequently asked questions regarding the competition’s requirements and judging criteria and provides guidance on topics such as presentation ideas.

Full contest details and the application also are at startup302.org. Additional questions may be directed to Crell at ecrell@choosedelaware.com.

Sponsors:

In-Kind Sponsors:







Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading

Novo Fintech Firm Chooses to Grow in DE

Forbes Fintech 50 Firm Novo Chooses Delaware as Expansion Site

Florida-based fintech platform for small businesses plans to grow as part of the Wilmington financial services hub


WILMINGTON, Del. – Novo, the powerfully simple financial solutions platform for small businesses that is a two-time member of the Forbes Fintech 50, has chosen to expand in Wilmington, Delaware.

Novo has built a platform for small businesses that combines a checking account with an ecosystem of financial applications — helping small businesses access their revenue faster, save time on business-critical tasks and manage their money anytime on any device. Since launching in 2018, Novo has surpassed $20 billion in small business transactions and was named to the Forbes Fintech 50 list, which highlights “the top private companies that are transforming finance through technology” in both 2022 and 2023.

Novo logo

Novo is headquartered in Miami and recently opened a U.S. location in Wilmington. In Delaware, the company is operating from the Stat International space on Orange Street. Novo has hired a dozen employees since May and will continue to grow the office in the coming years.

“Novo’s decision to expand to Wilmington is great news for the First State,” said Governor John Carney. “We want to be the place companies consider when starting and growing their businesses. Novo’s move to Wilmington shows that our efforts to make Delaware inviting to corporations are working and that the Delaware Prosperity Partnership is making a difference.”

One of Novo’s recently developed offerings is Novo Funding, a fast and flexible way for small businesses to access working capital. Since its launch, Novo Funding has issued more than $70 million in working capital.

Novo’s decision to choose Delaware for its expansion further confirms the state’s status as a hub for financial services and fintech companies. Wilmington and its environs continue to be the site of significant growth for existing businesses in the financial services and fintech sector while also attracting new firms to the area. Companies with recent Delaware expansions include Ally Financial, City National Bank, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.

“Small businesses make up more than half of Delaware’s workforce — an incredible testament to the work Delaware has done to make small business creation and growth as accessible as possible,” said Grant Sahag, VP of Operations at Novo. “The Novo team is honored to be a part of Delaware’s thriving small business community.”

###

Person using Novo app on phone

About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Created in 2017, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (choosedelaware.com) is the nonprofit public/private organization that leads Delaware’s statewide economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and support private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent.

About Novo

Novo Platform, Inc. (“Novo”) is the powerfully simple financial platform for small businesses. To learn more, visit www.novo.co.

Disclosure

Novo is a fintech, and not a bank. Novo acts as a service provider to Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A., and the deposit and banking products obtained through the Novo platform are provided by Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. is a federal savings bank and an FDIC-insured depository institution (FDIC Certificate 28368). Deposits made at Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. through the Novo platform receive FDIC insurance protection on a pass-through basis up to the applicable legal limit. When determining the amount of your deposits covered by FDIC insurance, please note all deposits you make through the Novo platform will be aggregated with all deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. and Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. brands. Additional information regarding FDIC insurance coverage is available at www.fdic.gov. Merchant Cash Advance products and services are offered by Novo Funding LLC (“Novo Funding”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Novo. Merchant Cash Advances require a Novo checking account.

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay Up To Date With Delaware

Continue reading