Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lots of Activity at UK's Coldstream Research Campus

UK’s Coldstream Research Campus has been in the news lately featuring many new business and career opportunities. Last week, our staff visited with George Ward, Executive Director of UK’s Coldstream Research Campus to learn more.

The mission of the Coldstream Research Campus is to cultivate an innovative community by combining UK’s research strengths with private enterprise to create high-tech startup companies, expand existing businesses and grow high-paying jobs. UK has a strong patent portfolio in drug development and drug design, plant biotech, equine health, and materials for medical implants, drug delivery systems, and medical devices. The University also has programs in emerging technologies such as renewable fuels and plant-based alternatives for industrial products.

UK quickly delivers applications to the marketplace which have resulted in long-standing partnerships with business and industry. According to Len Heller, UK's vice president for Commercialization & Economic Development, "Now more than ever it is important that we commercialize UK technology and create spin-off companies and new jobs."

Once a prominent Bluegrass horse farm, Coldstream is now home to 1,000 employees working in biotech, pharmaceutical and equine-related companies, and a wide range of businesses including HP, Coldstream Laboratories Inc. and Embassy Suites Hotel. Coldstream Park, a public, multi-use area maintained by the city of Lexington, is located within the research campus and has a network of biking and walking paths as well as two dog parks. Restaurants, shopping, the Blue Grass Airport, and residential communities are conveniently located nearby.

UK will use a new law that permits the establishment of a tax increment financing (TIF) district on the Coldstream Research Campus to help finance much needed laboratory and incubator space. UK will solicit a master developer to build a mixed-use "town center “and use the taxes generated to fund new research buildings and be a catalyst for retaining and recruiting biotech companies to Coldstream. According to George Ward, “The town center will be comprised of various uses such as offices, residential units, and ancillary services which may include food and beverage outlets, banking, a fitness center, day care, and a dry cleaner. Completion of the town center will provide the necessary social infrastructure to seed research and technology development in other areas of the Coldstream Campus.”

Recent Coldstream announcements include:

Lexington-based Tempur-Pedic, an international company focused on innovative sleep products, is reaffirming its commitment to Kentucky with the expansion of its global headquarters. The company will build a 100,000 square-foot facility in the University of Kentucky's Coldstream Research Campus and will employ 300 people, including the addition of 65 new jobs in the next five years.

UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory expansion is complete. In 2008, the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory broke ground on a $28.5 million expansion and renovation journey. Now the state-of-the-art project is complete and the lab is better equipped to serve Kentucky's animal agriculture industries.

Allconnect Inc., a leading consumer services company, is locating a new in-bound sales and customer care center in Lexington. The company is investing nearly $7 million to establish an approximately 32,000 square-foot facility in the Coldstream Research Campus that will add up to 220 new jobs in the community.

Construction began on the new Eastern State Hospital in 2010, with an expected completion date of fall 2012. The $129 million facility is part of a unique agreement between UK, Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC), the state and the city of Lexington in which Eastern State will move from its campus on Newtown Pike to the Coldstream Research Campus location; BCTC will move from UK's Lexington campus to the current Eastern State location; and UK will take over BCTC's location on Cooper Drive. The hospital will employ a total of 700 people over 3 shifts.

It is expected that the Coldstream on-campus employee population will grow to 2,200 by the end of 2012.

For more information on Coldstream see To keep up with current Coldstream news and all of UK’s economic development news, subscribe to the UKEconDev News (, a quarterly e-news.