The focus of the BTR Park is on the development of mutually beneficial relationships that involve resident businesses, the University and the Kalamazoo community. The private-sector firms that locate at the park are recruited from three key business sectors—life sciences, advanced engineering and information technology.
The BTR Park is located on WMU’s 265-acre Parkview Campus, which also is the home of WMU’s highly regarded College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The proximity to the college and the University’s campuswide commitment to the three areas of focus mean opportunities abound for businesses to interact and partner with the faculty and students of one of the nation’s largest major research universities. The collaborations that result can range from initiatives in manufacturing engineering to the development of new products in the pharmaceutical arena.
The BTR Park is also home to two important resources:
- WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, a state-of-the-art high-tech/wet lab business incubator, which was launched by the regional economic development agency Southwest Michigan First. The innovation center focuses on high-tech start-up companies.
- Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center at WMU, which provides commercialization expertise, research support and funding to emerging life sciences ventures.
More than 40 private-sector businesses have been attracted to the BTR Park. Over 1,400 direct and indirect jobs have been retained and or created. Of these businesses, eight have constructed their own facilities in the BTR Park. A number of these buildings house multiple tenants.
The Parkview Campus is located along U.S. 131 just north of the I-94 interchange, about 3.5 miles from WMU’s main campus and approximately five miles from downtown Kalamazoo.
As a SmartZone, a portion of the tax revenues generated by resident companies have been returned to the project for infrastructure upgrades.