State Representative Gregory Haddad (D-Mansfield, Chaplin) joined Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Mansfield Mayor Betsy Paterson and other officials to announce that Mansfield-Storrs and the University of Connecticut will host one of four business innovation “hubs” planned throughout the state.
Dubbed “Connecticut’s Innovation Ecosystem,” the goal of the public-private partnership is to spur the development of promising new products and technologies, accelerating the creation and growth of innovative companies and industries in the state. The Storrs hub is called the Eastern Connecticut Innovation Corridor (ECIC) and is temporarily housed in the Gordon W. Tasker Building at UConn.
“This is a solid investment in Connecticut’s economic future and a welcome addition to our community,” said Haddad, Vice-chair of the legislature’s Commerce Committee. “Storrs’ future as a high tech research and technology center for business development is bright and this is another example of how that plan is recognized by the state and business sector.”
Haddad added that the ECIC will benefit from statewide resources available through the University of Connecticut, linking firms with the robust tech activities being planned for the new UConn Tech Park.
“There are a lot of positive things going on throughout our town and this project fits in perfectly with our hopes and plans,” said Paterson. “This is an exciting time for Mansfield as we continue to develop our economic future while maintaining the character of our town that residents cherish.”
Haddad said the innovation hub network is another component of the state’s long-term comprehensive economic development strategy, following the successful “First Five” and Small Business Express job creation programs adopted by the legislature over the past two years.
Initial funding will come from $5 million from the bipartisan 2011 Jobs Bill and will feature:
- Four locations as “hubs” that will provide a set of financial, technical, professional, and mentoring resources to participants, as well as collaborative workspace. The hubs are designed to become self-sustaining over time as they leverage private investor funds.
- A statewide system for management and collaboration will connect these resources, making them available to every entrepreneur. It will also enable the state, for the first time, to track and systematically evaluate this economic development activity, providing greater transparency and enabling the state to target funding and other resources to their most productive uses, improving the return on taxpayer dollars invested.
Hartford, New Haven and Stamford were named as the other sites. The announcement was made at a press conference in New Haven.