Partnership Creates Major Business Incubator & Research Institute at Experimental Station

State of Delaware, DuPont and University of Delaware partner to form Delaware Innovation Space, Inc.
WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Monday announced the creation of the Delaware Innovation Space, Inc. – a nonprofit public-private partnership established by the State of Delaware, DuPont, and the University of Delaware that will catalyze the entrepreneurial growth of new science-based businesses and ventures in Delaware.

The Delaware Innovation Space will be headquartered at the DuPont Experimental Station research campus in Alapocas.

Formed as a separate nonprofit organization and legal entity and governed by an independent board, the Delaware Innovation Space will operate as an incubator to accelerate and drive new business growth, and as a research institute for the advancement of science in collaboration with the diverse scientific talent base in Delaware.

Each founding partner will contribute assets in support of the formation of the nonprofit, and two members to its initial Board of Directors.

“Delaware’s economy remains in transition, and we should do everything we can to support innovation, and partner with the private sector to drive business and job growth,” said Governor Carney. “DuPont and the University of Delaware have long histories of innovation, and remain crucially important to the future of our economy and our state. This partnership will draw upon the resources of those institutions to help science-based businesses grow here in Delaware, and connect Delaware’s students to the work of our most talented innovators.”

“The Innovation Space at the Experimental Station shows that DuPont, the state and the University of Delaware are committed to creating a nurturing environment for business to grow and thrive,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “Delaware may be small, but we are nimble. We have all levels of government partnering with the private and non-profit sectors to find ways to make Delaware a more attractive place to do business. The Innovation Space is another example of a great idea that came from the power of partnerships.”

“This building will provide Delaware with what startups in our region need the most, high quality and market rate lab space,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “In the Senate, I have worked hard to give science based early stage companies tools they need, but ultimately Delaware needs more lab space like this in order to help local companies grow and for us to attract other companies from outside of our state. I am thrilled to see this building come to fruition, and excited to see what technologies emerge from this site.”

“It’s exciting to see what we can accomplish when we come together, and I’m grateful for the University of Delaware and DuPont for their continued support of a brighter future for Delaware,” said Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester. “Not only will this partnership promote economic growth and attract new businesses, it will also provide students with exciting opportunities to get hands on research experience in growing fields.”

“DuPont’s vision for the Experimental Station is to harness the power of collaboration to drive innovation,” said Doug Muzyka, DuPont Senior Vice President and Chief Science and Technology Officer. “The Delaware Innovation Space will accelerate new business growth and give entrepreneurs, scientific leaders, and businesses access to best-in-class talent, resources and the culture of the Experimental Station.”

“UD fosters a strong, productive and longstanding relationship with the State and DuPont that advances scientific inquiry, strengthens our economy and improves the lives of Delawareans,” said Dennis Assanis, University of Delaware President. “The Delaware Innovation Space represents a new and exciting chapter in that partnership, one that will benefit our community for many more decades ahead.”

The partnership of the State of Delaware, DuPont and the University of Delaware at the Experimental Station not only will fuel growth of science-based businesses; it will spur job creation, creativity, and develop, attract and retain science talent in Delaware.

The Delaware Innovation Space will focus on key Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas that align with strengths both DuPont and UD bring to the venture. They include industrial biotechnology, renewable energy, advanced materials, chemical ingredients, nutrition and healthcare to help strengthen Delaware’s presence as a leader in those areas.

It also will provide education to entrepreneurs and startups, help accelerate the formation of new businesses, and connect Delaware’s students with the work of innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Delaware Innovation Space will be located in a dedicated building (E500) at the Experimental Station. It will include approximately 100,000 square feet of innovative laboratory and office space comprised of a mix of large shared lab spaces and open office areas in addition to private laboratory and office suites.  Delaware Innovation clientele also will have access to other common spaces and leveraged capabilities at the Experimental Station.

Partner contributions include:
State of Delaware:

  • $5 million in startup funding support over 3 years from the Delaware Strategic Fund
  • Key support from public stakeholders in attracting companies to Delaware


  • $1.25 million in startup funding
  • Modern laboratory and office building at the Experimental Station, valued at approximately $15 million today
  • Laboratory equipment valued at up to $2 million
  • Nonprofit set-up costs

University of Delaware:

  • $1.5 million in startup funding over three years
  • Student internships
  • On-site workshops and seminars led by UD faculty members
  • Grant writing support


Legislation Introduced to Support Investment in Delaware Entrepreneurs

Follows through on Governor’s State of the State proposal to improve access to capital

Wilmington, DE – Building on efforts like regulatory reform and broadband improvements that have made Delaware a more welcoming place to start and expand a business, Governor Markell joined members of the General Assembly today to announce legislation that will give startups and small businesses better opportunities to access capital.

The bipartisan bill, which will be filed when the legislature returns to session next week and is sponsored by Representative Bryon Short (D-Highland Woods) and Senator Brian Bushweller (D-Dover), would permit the use of online crowdfunding platforms, allowing Delaware residents to be investors in Delaware start-ups and small businesses, expanding the potential pool of investment capital for small businesses while also giving Delawareans the chance to be early stage investors in these ventures.

“With the best job growth in the region, we are making progress in strengthening our economy, but we can only realize the full potential of our state if we remove unnecessary barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Governor Markell. “This legislation sends another signal that Delaware supports small business growth, which is vital to our state’s continued success, and I thank the bill sponsors, Representative Short and Senator Bushweller, for their commitment to seeing it pass the General Assembly.”

As the Governor mentioned in his State of the State address, with leadership from Congressman John Carney, Congress has given states the flexibility to permit citizens to more easily invest in startups. Much of this investing can be done through what is known as crowdfunding, through which companies around the world raise billions of dollars. This year, the amount of investment is expected to exceed the funding provided through traditional sources like venture capital. But state laws currently prevent citizens from using crowdfunding to its full potential to help Delaware businesses.

“We need to make sure our laws keep pace with technology so that our small businesses have access to new methods of raising much-needed capital,” said Representative Bryon Short, the bill’s prime sponsor in the House. “Delawareans have a strong sense of pride in locally owned and operated businesses. This bill will take steps to help new companies by enabling Delaware residents to invest and participate in the success of homegrown Delaware start-ups.”

The bill would enable Delaware-based companies to offer equity stakes to Delaware residents or other Delaware businesses over internet platforms. (Due to Federal law, Delaware cannot permit investment from residents of other states.) Although the bill would require certain disclosures in order to ensure the validity of the offerings, it does not require issuers to make detailed financial disclosures that might be prohibitively costly for many small businesses and start-ups. A business can raise up to $1 million over a 12-month period and an individual can invest up to $5,000 in any one offering.

“We must strike the right balance between protecting the public from fraudulent activity and making sure our small businesses can access investment capital, and this bill accomplishes that,” said Senator Bushweller, the bill’s prime sponsor in the Senate. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this into law.”

The bill has received support from Republicans in the legislature as well.

“This bill is a recognition of the changing landscape of how businesses are conceived and financed in the 21st Century,” said State Rep. Lyndon Yearick, R-Dover South. “There are many examples of businesses that got their start through online crowdfunding. It’s time we allow Delaware entrepreneurs to tap into a resource that could help them turn a dream into a viable enterprise.”

“Any advantage we can give our home-grown companies is a benefit in the new economy,” said Senator Greg Lavelle. “It’s important to give Delaware companies access to Delaware investors, and any time we can do that in a safe and responsible way, we should.”

The state Department of Justice’s Investor Protection Unit will maintain oversight of sale registration and equity offerings.

“It has never been more important to maintain a nurturing and supportive economic environment in our state that will encourage growth for small businesses,” said Congressman Carney. “I am proud that I was able to join a bipartisan effort in Congress to make it easier for small businesses to access needed capital through crowdfunding and other innovative platforms, which will pave the way for our state to take advantage of this opportunity.”

“This is a good way to enable small businesses to more easily access the capital they need to grow,” said Rich Heffron, President of the State Chamber of Commerce. “We support this legislation, and hope to see it become law.”

Governor’s Weekly Message: Helping Delaware Entrepreneurs Compete In The Global Marketplace While Strengthening Our Local Economy

Wilmington, DE – In his weekly message, Governor Markell discusses Delaware’s efforts to support entrepreneurs and grow Delaware’s economy by helping them enter new global markets.

“We live in a rapidly changing world with an economy that’s been forever altered by global competition and new technology, and these changes have meant new challenges but also tremendous opportunities if we ensure that our people have access to the opportunities. To support our businesses, especially our smaller ones, that means giving them the chance to enter new global markets,” Governor Markell said.  “By competing in a global economy, we ensure that Delaware’s companies have more opportunities to succeed while strengthening our local economy – and that will keep Delaware moving forward.”

Every week, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form. The message is available on:

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Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message:  Helping Delaware Entrepreneurs Compete In The Global Marketplace While Strengthening Our Local Economy

Governor’s Statement on Unanimous Passage of 3 Regulatory Reform Bills Related to State of the State Proposals

SB 113 & SB 120 move to House; HB 147 moves to Senate for consideration

Dover, DE – Responding to proposals Governor Markell made in this year’s State of the State address, the House of Representatives today unanimously passed House Bill 147 to establish regular reviews of state regulations, while the Delaware Senate today unanimously passed Senate Bill 113 and Senate Bill 120 to require that state agencies announce any additional burden that a new regulation would place on small businesses. In response, the Governor issued the following statement:

“Although regulations are sometimes necessary, we must strive to ensure that they do not impose unnecessary burdens upon our citizens and businesses,” said Governor Markell. “All three bills build upon my Administration’s previous efforts to reduce the burden of regulations on Delawareans, as well as the efforts of legislators on both sides of the aisle. There is no monopoly on good ideas, and I am grateful that Democrats and Republicans are working together to support entrepreneurs and small businesses by eliminating the red tape that inhibits growth.”

HB 147 now moves to the Senate for consideration, while SB 113 and SB 120 move to the House.

House Bill 147 – sponsored by Rep. Bryon Short, Rep. Danny Short, Sen. Brian Bushweller, and Sen. Greg Lavelle – would require each executive branch agency to conduct an in-depth examination of the regulations on its books every four years, and to solicit public input in doing so. The bill would codify the Governor’s Executive Order No. 36, which in 2013 resulted in the elimination or modification of more than 100 agency regulations.

Senate Bill 113 – sponsored by Sen. Gerald Hocker, Sen. Bobby Marshall, Rep. Bryon Short, Rep. Quinn Johnson, and others –  is one of two bills that comprise the Regulatory Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 (“RTAA”). SB 113 would require each agency to submit a “regulatory impact statement” whenever it proposes regulations that would place additional burdens upon small businesses. Among other things, each statement must include an estimate of the costs of complying with the regulation. In addition, SB 113 requires the Registrar of Regulations to submit regulatory impact statements to the appropriate committee of the General Assembly.

Senate Bill 120 – sponsored by Sen. Bobby Marshall, Sen. Gerald Hocker, Rep. Q. Johnson, Rep. B. Short, and others – is the second bill that is part of the RTAA. Under SB 120, whenever an agency proposes a regulation that would place additional burdens upon small businesses, it must submit a “regulatory flexibility analysis.” In a regulatory flexibility analysis, each agency generally must consider ways to reduce the regulation’s burden on individuals and small business. That includes considering less stringent requirements or deadlines for individuals or small businesses that must comply with the proposed regulation. In addition, SB 120 provides that if an agency does not submit the required information to the Registrar, a proposed regulation may not be published in the Register of Regulations.


Food safety certification course offered to potential on-farm food entrepreneurs

DOVER – Agricultural entrepreneurs who want to produce certain foods in their on-farm kitchens can receive food safety training and become certified under Delaware law at an upcoming workshop jointly sponsored by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture. A previously scheduled class was rescheduled due to a conflict.

The eight-hour “Food Safety for Entrepreneurs” program presented by Dr. Sue Snider of the University of Delaware will take place Saturday, March 14, at the Department of Agriculture offices near Camden, 2320 South DuPont Highway. The class will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participants should arrive by 7:45 for registration and bring a bagged lunch.

Register by March 12 by contacting Debra Whitmore at or 302-698-4540.

Participants will learn how to identify potentially hazardous and non-potentially hazardous foods; understand foodborne pathogens and ways to control them; reduce the risk of foodborne illness; evaluate their plan for controlling potential microbial problems; and understand state regulations on farm-produced, non-potentially hazardous food items.

Those items include such things as baked breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, non-chocolate candy, jellies, jams, preserves, marmalades, fruit butters, fruit pies, herbs in vinegar, honey and herb mixtures, dried fruit and vegetables, spices or herbs, maple syrup, sorghum, popcorn, caramel corn, peanut brittle and roasted nuts.

The training, certification and inspections of farm kitchens are required under Delaware regulations adopted in 2006, and apply to farmers who wish to process non-potentially hazardous foods in their on-farm home kitchens for sale to the public at DDA-listed farmers’ markets, on their farm or at a roadside stand on or near their farm. On-farm kitchens will be inspected by appointment after participants complete the training and pass a written test.

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Nancy Gainer, University of Delaware, 302-831-2501 (office),
Dan Shortridge, Delaware Department of Agriculture, 302-698-4520 (office),