OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Business leaders and officials in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley announced plans today to build the nation's first technology park located at a national laboratory. Work will begin this summer on the Oak Ridge Science and Technology Park on the campus of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The lab has constructed nearly $2 billion in new facilities in the recent years, including the Spallation Neutron Source, which is the nation's largest science project, and the Center for Computational Sciences, which is assembling the world's fastest super computer. In addition to the lab, the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley is home to the University of Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority headquarters and more than 1,000 tech-based companies. The Innovation Valley was recently recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the top five hottest business metro areas in the country. The Oak Ridge Science and Technology Park will be available for private sector companies and will be used to help create new companies from technologies developed at ORNL. The technology park already has announced its first tenant. Pro2Serve Professional Project Services Inc., an engineering services firm, will construct a $15 million, 100,000-square-foot facility to serve as the company's National Security Engineering Center and corporate headquarters. Pro2Serve plans to add approximately 200 new employees to its staff. Pro2Serve President Barry Goss said the decision to locate within a national lab was based on "strong relationships with Department of Energy and the lab in deploying national security technologies." Gerald Boyd, manager of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge office, said the lab "develops some of the world's most important new technologies. One of our priorities is to help make those technologies available for new companies and new jobs." The park property will be managed by the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET). ORNL Director Jeff Wadsworth predicts the park -- in combination with the lab's nanotech, biotech, computing capabilities and energy research -- will attract "universities, large established companies, and small start-up companies. Each can benefit from the unique resources we have in Oak Ridge." Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed for the Department of Energy by a partnership between the University of Tennessee and Battelle.
SOURCE East Tennessee Economic Development Agency