Hyer assumes leadership as University Research Park continues to grow

Nov. 7, 2013

by David Tenenbaum

Photo: Aerial view of University Research Park buildings

University Research Park buildings include, clockwise from lower left, Affiliated Engineers, the two-section MGE Innovation Center, and the Accelerator Building. URP is home to 126 companies providing 3,600 jobs.

Photo:

With last Friday's retirement of longtime University Research Park Director Mark Bugher, associate director Greg Hyer is assuming the role of interim director of the successful, 260-acre park on the West Side of Madison.

With 3,600 jobs at 126 companies, the park has long been considered a national model in the use of real estate as a venue for high-tech, high-paying jobs with strong links to a research university. At least 60 percent of the jobs at the park derived from work at UW-Madison.

"Mark will be hard to follow, as he's rightly credited with the long-term success of the park, but we have an opportunity to continue to grow," says Hyer. A 370-acre tract west of the Beltline will be developed starting next year, once the city finishes building the infrastructure, "and we will be aggressively promoting that, to support the entrepreneur community and the commercialization of university research."

“During this transition, we are confident that the park is poised to accelerate its role as an economic engine of the university, the region and the state.”

Greg Hyer

As the economy continues to pick up, Hyer says, "the timing has been good. We have been able to do lot of the planning and infrastructure work when the economy was not so good, and are now well positioned to provide a home for companies that fit our focus."

Although biotech innovations rooted at UW-Madison have long been a focus, "we are beginning to look at the growth of software," says Hyer.

"During this transition, we are confident that the park is poised to accelerate its role as an economic engine of the university, the region and the state," Hyer says. "During many years at the park, I have played a strong role working with Mark, have been given a lot of room to market the park, to get the right kind of company in, and help them grow. That's going to continue."

A 2010 study found that the park was generating $826 million in economic activity. Many of its companies, like Flugen and Cellular Dynamics, emerged directly from discoveries at UW-Madison. Other, like Ultratec, the park's largest tenant, were initiated by UW-Madison employees.

A national search for a new director will be completed next year.