The University of South Alabama today held a grand opening ceremony for its new USA Technology & Research Park, celebrating an academic-corporate partnership that will significantly strengthen the region’s economy and create new jobs.
“Through the USA Technology & Research Park, we will be building partnerships between businesses and our faculty researchers, students and graduates – all working together in a University environment to create, attract and retain high-technology jobs for Mobile and the Gulf Coast,” USA President Gordon Moulton said.
During the ceremony, USA welcomed its first partner, Accelerated Technology, a division of Mentor Graphics Corporation. The 150-person division moved into the new high-technology building last month.
The Park will give faculty and students access to corporate research projects and internships. Meanwhile, the businesses will benefit from their close collaboration with USA students and graduates. The unique partnership will help retain top-quality students in the area, preventing a “brain drain.”
Accelerated Technology was founded in Mobile 13 years ago by USA graduate Neil Henderson and develops real-time software for use in complex embedded applications. Henderson is now general manager of Accelerated Technology, the Embedded Systems Division of Mentor Graphics.
Henderson said 45 percent Accelerated Technology’s employees are USA graduates, and he expects a close collaboration to continue at the Park.
“Industry gets its greatest gains from academia in forward-thinking concepts,” Henderson said. “Students are very creative, and we gain more energy from them.”
The grand opening included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and speeches by President Moulton, Mentor Graphics President Gregory Hinckley, USA Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Nix and a proclamation by Mobile Mayor Michael C. Dow. Tours of the 76,000-square-foot building were given for community leaders and Accelerated Technology employees.
About Mentor Graphics:
Established in 1981, Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Headquartered in Wilsonville, Ore., the company has annual revenues of about $650 million and employs approximately 3,500 people worldwide.
Accelerated Technology, the Embedded Systems Division of Mentor Graphics Corporation, employs 150 people in Mobile, with sales offices and distributors worldwide. It leads the embedded systems software industry with its Nucleus Real-Time Operating Systems, used by makers of products such as consumer electronics, multimedia, automotive control, computer peripherals, medical instrumentation, FAA certified avionics, networking/data communications, industrial control and telecommunications. Founded in Mobile in 1990 by USA alumnus Neil Henderson, AT was acquired by Mentor Graphics Corporation in 2002.
About the USA Technology & Research Park
The USA Technology & Research Park, launched in April 2002, is a major economic development initiative of the University of South Alabama. The park brings University resources and the technology business community together in a single location that expands educational opportunities for students, provides new research relationships for faculty and offers new growth prospects for businesses focusing on information technology, engineering and biomedicine. The park is a focal point of high-technology economic growth for Mobile and the Upper Gulf Coast. It was developed with the assistance and support of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, which awarded the University its “Innovation Award” in recognition of the park’s creation.
About the University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama is a major center of high quality and accessible undergraduate, graduate and professional education for metropolitan Mobile, the state of Alabama, the Gulf Coast region and the southeastern United States. Founded in 1963, USA is one of the state’s fastest growing universities, currently enrolling more than 13,000 students in its 10 schools and colleges. USA employs 5,800 people, giving it the largest dollar-value payroll in Mobile County. The USA Health System annually serves 250,000 people in its hospitals and clinics. USA’s many research, teaching and service activities provide a $1 billion annual economic impact on the region and state as it pursues its academic mission.