November 27, 2014  

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The Garden Receives Prestigious Project-Ready Site Certification

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Mississippi Power Company President and CEO Ed Day presents Southern Miss Executive Assistant to the President for External Affairs Chad Driskell with the company’s designation of Project Ready certification for the university’s innovation and commercialization park, known as The Garden. (University Communications photo by Steve Rouse).

Companies considering locating at The Garden, The University of Southern Mississippi’s 521-acre innovation and commercialization park, now have another good reason to make the state-of-the-art facility their home.

On Monday, it was announced that The Garden had achieved designation as a Project Ready site, a certification initiative of Mississippi Power Company designed to spur economic development in South Mississippi. The designation tells potential tenants the park meets a variety of criteria, including those regarding infrastructure, environmental and ownership issues, allowing them to make quicker location decisions.

McCallum Sweeney Consulting (MSC), a site selection consulting firm in Greenville, S.C. analyzed The Garden to determine the certification. MSC is one of the leading site selection firms in the nation.

The Project Ready certification significantly increases the marketability of The Garden, said Southern Miss Executive Assistant to the President for External Affairs Chad Driskell.

“Getting the seal of approval from an internationally respected consulting group like McCallum Sweeney makes The Garden even more appealing to companies considering it as a destination,” said Driskell. 

Mississippi Power Company President and CEO Ed Day and Mark Sweeney, senior principal with McCallum Sweeney Consulting, were on hand for the announcement Monday at The Garden. Representatives of the university and area elected officials, among others, also attended.

“Having this certification allows us to better compete for research entities that want to establish a presence here, and it’s another reason for companies that need to set up rapidly to choose The Garden,” said Southern Miss Vice President for Research Dr. Dennis Wiesenburg.

Located on the site of what was once the university’s golf course and before that a college farm, The Garden is transforming the university’s cutting-edge research into valued products and services for the marketplace.  The first building established in The Garden is the university-owned “Accelerator” which houses the National Formulation Science Laboratory, a high tech incubator space that includes such private firms as Bracco Technology and CrossLink. The Mississippi Polymer Institute is also located in the Accelerator.   

To learn more, online visit www.usm.edu/research/garden.