Tag: New Castle County

Biotech Institute Expanding to New Space on STAR Campus

Biotech Institute expanding to new space on STAR campus


The Delaware Biotechnology Institute will expand into 70,000 square feet within the new six-story, $160 million Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building on the STAR Campus next February.

The building, which includes labs, offices, collaborative space, and shared research instrumentation facilities, will be the home of the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), a UD-led coalition of 150 companies, educational institutions, nonprofits and state governments.

Biopharmaceuticals are prescription drugs made with living cells.

“We need more space to support the expanding needs of life science researchers across campus,” said Dr. John Koh, the interim director of DBI and a UD professor in chemistry and biochemistry. “We’re not abandoning our current site, but expanding and moving our core facilities to support current and future initiatives on STAR campus. There’s an enormous difference between office space and wet research space. Being in the new building will also help us support the new NIIMBL program.”

The Delaware Biotechnology Institute is a magnet for life-science research and development. The institute supports multidisciplinary, collaborative research at all of Delaware’s research organizations, including the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Christiana Care Health System, Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wesley College, and Delaware Technical and Community College.

The Institute houses research laboratories with scientists, students, and faculty working on projects related to agriculture, human health, and energy and the environment and also makes available high-end instrumentation facilities to Delaware’s entire life-science community. DBI researchers are focused on advanced sequencing technologies, imaging technologies, and computational capabilities.

NIIMBL is funded through a $70 million cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce and leverages additional commitments from partners.

Koh said the new building will be occupied by UD faculty from four colleges and will help faculty and staff that will help launch a new program in pharmaceutical sciences at the university. The Delaware Biotechnology Institute will take a little over two floors of the six-story building besides the 70,000 square feet it has in its current location at 15 Innovation Way.

This article was originally posted on the Delaware Business Times at: https://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com/biotech-institute-expanding/

Kurt Foreman


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Wilmington Becoming a Tech Hub

Wilmington becoming a tech hub


There’s a huge demand for technology professionals — and for good reason.

Almost everything about our behaviors as consumers is changing, becoming more digital, meaning that the companies that serve us have to become digital as well.

At M&T Bank, we recognize that organizations need to be adaptable in order to find success in the future, a change largely driven by technology.

We recently announced plans to hire hundreds of professionals in Delaware in the next few years, including about 200 technologists. Our goal is to make Wilmington a destination for tech talent, and we plan to embed our new tech hires with all the other employees driving the growth in our downtown offices.

Choosing Wilmington was no mistake. Wilmington offers businesses like ours a unique opportunity to work with local government, higher education, non-government organizations, startups, and other private corporations to create a unique ecosystem conducive to the very tech talent hub we are working to build.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Wilmington offers a lower cost of living and stronger sense of community when compared to the top-tier cities competing for the very same tech talent.

So we asked ourselves, how can M&T Bank be part of the solution in cultivating and bringing tech talent to Delaware? To put it simply, we saw an opportunity to bring our use of technology in-house and place it within the communities we serve.

We think this gives us an edge in differentiating our products and services, but it also challenges us to build a strong tech community in Delaware.

To create alternate pipelines for hard-to-find tech talent, we will establish a technology development program in partnership with higher education institutions such as the University of Delaware and other colleges. We have also committed to partnerships with programs such as Zip Code Wilmington, which coaches motivated people from diverse backgrounds into skilled, professional developers.

Kurt Foreman


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GT USA Wilmington Launches new Infrastructure Investments

GT USA Wilmington launches new infrastructure investments


GT USA Wilmington is on track with its first improvements at the Port of Wilmington after its first quarter managing the facility, according to its new CEO, Eric Casey.

“GT USA Wilmington is immensely proud to have received a 50-year concession to operate the port and to provide $600 million to upgrade and expand the terminal,” Casey said.

Improvement and extension of the dock and crane rail are under way, and these projects should be completed by this summer at a cost of $17 million. GT USA is also enhancing warehouse storage by increasing racking for palletized cargo.

According to Casey, the port will soon begin work on upgrading cargo throughput capacity from 350,000 TEUs to 600,000 TEUs, along with new capacity for roll-on/roll-off cargo.

Casey was appointed CEO of GT USA Wilmington LLC in October. He was previously vice president of Virginia International Terminals and an executive at Maersk Line. Casey spent 26 years with the U.S. Marine Corps, including roles in Special Operations, a National-Level Special Mission Unit and tours in Force Reconnaissance.

GT USA Wilmington, a subsidiary of UAE-based Gulftainer, signed a 50-year concession agreement last September to operate and expand the Port of Wilmington, Delaware, which has served shipping lines since 1923.

As part of the concession agreement, Gulftainer will invest significantly in the port by building a new container facility at DuPont’s former Edgemoor site. GT USA Wilmington also will establish a training facility for the ports and logistics industries, which is expected to train up to 1,000 people a year.

This article was originally posted on the Maritime Executive at: https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/gt-usa-wilmington-launches-new-infrastructure-investments

Kurt Foreman


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M&T Commits to Tech Jobs, Other Roles in Delaware

M&T commits to tech jobs, other roles in Delaware


M&T Bank and its Wilmington Trust subsidiary will hire hundreds of tech talent over the next few years, including 50 new “technologists” over the next nine months and reinforce its commitment to downtown Wilmington by housing them in a space that will embed technology teams with the people driving the growth of the bank’s business.

In addition, the bank hopes to fill more than 100 open positions in 2019 throughout the state — nearly half in Sussex County — as it continues to grow through all lines of business. It will also be establishing a technology development program at the University of Delaware and University of Maryland for professional positions and internships as well as filling jobs through partnerships with organizations like Zip Code Wilmington, which offers a 12-week coding boot camp with job placement assistance upon completion of the program.

The bank has quietly consolidated 130 employees over the past few months on two floors of the 10-story Wilmington Plaza building at 301 W. 11th St.

We need to be less dependent on outsourcing,” said M&T Chief Information Officer Mike Wisler. “Buying other people’s products mutes your ability to compete and create differentiated experiences.”

Wisler said M&T plans to add 1,000 technologists — software engineers and designers, UI/UX and web developers, database and cybersecurity experts, and technical team leads — over the next five years to its two primary technology centers in the company’s hometown of Buffalo, New York and in Wilmington, with Wilmington expected to get about 200 of those jobs.

The Wilmington Plaza building offers “puts everyone together, creating collisions that will allow us to operate at the speed of our competition,” Wisler said. “The physical environment plays a big role in our efforts to be transformational and agile. We’re trying to create a community [feeling] and align various initiatives with the bank’s mission, purpose, and vision.”

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki praised the decision to locate the new jobs downtown as proof that “M&T believes in the city. It’s important because people look to the future to make financial decisions so when people make decisions like this to invest in the city, it’s great for confidence.”

Purzycki said he likes the idea of more people walking along Market Street shopping and experiencing the “grit, humanity and personality” of the city.

“Generally speaking, people love to be in cities. As long as you don’t scare them away for the wrong reasons, announcements like this demonstrate we can overcome” structural issues like parking and the wage tax, he said. “I want employers to tell their people that Wilmington is a great place to be. The more people who live here, the more things change.”

M&T Delaware Region President Nick Lambrow says the bank is moving toward an “integrated model with lots of initiatives that provide us with different ways to look at and serve our client base.”

M&T retained the Wilmington Trust brand for its wealth and institutional business after acquiring the bank in
2011. Wilmington Trust now employs about 2,000 people in 54 locations with a little more than half in Delaware, according to Executive Vice President Bill Farrell, who oversees the Wealth and Institutional Services Division.

“We’ve developed new products and grown market share across our businesses,” Farrell said, noting as an example that Wilmington Trust’s structured finance (securitization) business has increased its market share over the past five years from 1.3 percent to 16.9 percent to become the third-largest in that market niche.

“Adding these technologists to our team alongside our product managers will enable us to continue developing products like Wilmington Trust FastTrack, which makes it easier for our Merger and Acquisition Escrow business to get people paid more efficiently and WT Connect, which created a new front end for investors to self-serve in the structured-product area,” Farrell said.

“We take pride in operating much like a fintech in accelerating our speed to market,” Lambrow said. “We realize that our competition is no longer just large banks, and we’re of a size where we can act or react like a fintech.”

It’s generally accepted that there is an industrywide shortage of tech jobs, giving rise to organizations like Zip Code Wilmington and Year Up.

“It’s the scarcest resource on the planet with lots of competition. But we feel that our story is an advantage.
One big differentiator for M&T and Wilmington trust is that its size allows employees on both the tech and operations side to have an impact on our business. That may not be the case at a larger institution.

“University programs are not producing the talent we need so we have to create other pipelines while still making a meaningful investment in local universities,” Wisler said, adding that there is a growing opportunity to attract experienced professionals from the traditional big-city tech hot spots. “We are focusing on professional recruiting and relocation as we find lots of people from this area who would like to return.”

“It’s never been more important to create a sense of belonging and inclusion,” Lambrow said. “We still think of ourselves as a community bank and we’re committed to our branch system. But we must provide alternative ways to connect with our customers” who don’t need to come into the branch.

This article was originally posted on the Delaware Business Times at: https://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com/mt-commits-to-tech-jobs-other-roles-in-delaware

Kurt Foreman


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STAR Campus: Innovative, Award-Winning STEM Hub

STAR Campus: Innovative, award-winning STEM hub

A center for synergy in science, technology, advanced research — and business development.

3 APRIL, 2019

If Delaware is where the world comes to do business, the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus at the University of Delaware (UD) is where the STEM world and the business world come together to stimulate innovation and employment opportunities in science, high-technology and health sectors.

Once home to a Chrysler auto assembly plant, the 272-acre site has been transformed into a live-work-learn, opportunity zone that Collaborating tenant companies accelerate research commercialization by leveraging UD’s internationally renowned expertise in science, engineering, business, public policy and entrepreneurship.

STAR offers unique access to highly sought-after talent, innovative research state-of-the-science facilities including incubation space and equipment in one of the most accessible locations in the United States, just steps from a new rail station and minutes off I-95, in the center of the New York City to Washington, D.C. power corridor.

Investment and Growth

With more than 1 million square feet of real estate in use and under active construction plus more than $0.5 billion of invested capital, STAR Campus has grown exponentially since it was acquired by UD in 2008. STEM organizations and investors can benefit from tax credits and incentive programs that encourage innovation and job creation in Delaware.

In March, STAR Tower, a 10-story innovation hub with state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and high-tech business partners, was featured on USA Today’s list of amazing university buildings.

Chemours, a Delaware-based global chemicals company has invested $150 million in the development and construction of the Chemours Discovery Hub on the campus. This 312,000-square foot research facility will be home to 330 researchers and technicians, and an important center for talent development, when it becomes operational in 2020.

Also on the campus is the Delaware Technology Park, a full-service incubator working in collaboration with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and UD, featuring flexible, state-of-the art incubation space and access to the resources startups need to drive and accelerate economic success.

Also contributing to the culture of synergy and innovation that exemplifies STAR Campus are the UD College of Health Sciences, the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), Bloom Energy, a zero-emissions vehicle test laboratory, and a performance computing company.

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Millennial-centric banking app

Millennial-Centric Banking App to Hire 30-50 Industry Vets to Drive Growth

Millennial-centric banking app to hire 30-50 industry vets to drive growth


Acorns, the company behind a simple investment application with more than 5 million account holders, will add up to 50 technology and operations jobs downtown over the next six months, expecting to find them among longtime Delaware bankers looking to return to the fast-growth days.

The Irvine, California-based company’s core product is a mobile-banking app that rounds up users’ daily purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically puts the difference into investment accounts.

New Chief Technology Officer Hugh Tamassia says the company sees Wilmington as “a powerful financial community that has been depleted over the past few years with people who can help us scale and add products,” he said.

He should know. Both Tamassia and Acorns Chief Operating Officer Manning Field worked for JPMorgan Chase in Wilmington for more than a dozen years.

The new Acorns employees will be housed in The Mill, a co-working space located a block from Rodney Square, in what is another positive piece of news this week for downtown Wilmington.

Tamassia says he’ll be looking for 20 to 30 technologists —developers, testers, program managers, and scrum masters —while the operations side will be looking for 10-20 risk managers and other operations people “with years of doing banking at scale who can bring that experience to an emerging product.”

Tamassia, who joined Acorns on Jan. 11, said he’s been charged with ensuring “that every part of our infrastructure is scaled to meet the demand of a fast-growing customer base.” He’s looking for people like himself who will be attracted by the company’s vision of being a financial wellness system that “puts the tools of wealth-making in everyone’s hands.”

Acorns, which launched in 2014,was one of Fast Company magazine’s Most Innovative Companies of 2019 and counts actor Ashton Kutcher and Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant among its investors.

Perhaps more important, NBC Universal and Comcast Ventures announced an equity investment in the startup in late January that includes a strategic partnership with Comcast-owned CNBC to produce original content with Acorns.

The investment was part of Acorns’ latest $105 million funding round, which put its valuation at $860 million. BlackRock, Bain Capital Ventures, TPG’s Rise Fund, DST and Michael Dell’s MSD Capital also took part in the Series E round. NBCUniversal, which is now Acorns’ biggest shareholder, also received a seat on the startup’s board.

According to the company, the average Acorns customer is around 32 years old with an income of $50,000 to $60,000. The CNBC partnership is designed to reach an “up-and-coming” financial audience that is younger or less financially savvy.

In addition to its retirement-investment product, Acorns users can open an IRA and obtain a checking account and debit card that link to its investment products.


Kurt Foreman


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