Some top-flight universities, including the University of Notre Dame, have long recognized the latent market potential in the labor of their researchers. They now are proactively creating an environment where that potential can blossom.
Innovation Park at Notre Dame is one place where that alchemy happens. Innovation Park is a businesslike three-story building across the street from university’s campus and within sight of its golden dome. It contains labs, offices, and all the support services to transform a bright idea into a viable business. The building is intended to be bright and open, mobile and versatile.
The Greenhouse, for example, is the first-floor space where people meet, ideas collide, and the most tender businesses take root. “Virtually everything is on wheels,” says Dave Brenner, CEO of Innovation Park.
Taking flexibility to the max, the Greenhouse not only is outfitted with Herman Miller’s most mobile furniture, it also is equipped with a “programmable infrastructure,” which gives the user ultimate control over lights, outlets, data and power, and even the window shades, from a personal computer or a two-button wand. The result is a space with enormous flexibility and the capability to reduce energy costs.