CLEARFIELD — Utah’s next big technology-oriented corridor may be in the making in northern Davis County, where officials hope to kick-start high-tech companies at "Silicon Hills" on land leased from the Air Force.
Ground was ceremonially broken Friday on the 21,000-square-foot Utah Science Technology and Research Innovation Center at the Falcon Hill National Aerospace Research Park.
Upon completion, the facility next to Hill Air Force Base will house space for startups hoping to make the next big step into the world of innovation and high-tech, explained USTAR Executive Director Ivy Estabrooke.
“We provide mentoring and training through this facility,” she said. “We’re providing the environment that will help early-stage entrepreneurs to take their ideas, develop them into companies, become marketable and become profitable.”
Estabrooke noted that while the University of Utah has an incubator focused on cultivating ideas from researchers at the institution, this facility would target those without similar connections.
“Anyone who has an idea that they come up with in their basement or garage, you could come in and build a prototype, get mentoring and we will help you get connected with different sources of capital to get your company started,” she explained.
USTAR focuses on six industry sectors, including early-stage aerospace, life sciences, advanced materials, energy and clean technology, robotics and automation, along with big data analytics, she said.
Scheduled for completion in late fall, the new facility will offer space for 15 to 20 startups, Estabrooke said. As companies mature — typically over 12 to 18 months, they will move on to be replaced by other startups, she said.
“Every company that enters our program will have to set business milestones they need to reach,” she said. “We (will) hold them to their milestones and help them get the technical resources needed to reach those goals and be successful.”
Located just outside the gates of the military base, the research park is situated along I-15 on a few of the 500 acres of military-owned land that is part of a public-private partnership aimed at developing a new tech corridor — dubbed Silicon Hills — similar to Silicon Slopes along the southern Wasatch Front.
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By Jasen Lee@JasenLee1 , Deseret News
Published: March 3, 2017 6:00 p.m.
Updated: March 4, 2017 4:26 p.m.