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Multi-National Company Becomes New Tenant in Southern Miss Accelerator

Tue, 01/18/2011 - 15:56pm | By: Van Arnold

The Accelerator is part of the innovation and commercialization park at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Bracco Diagnostics, a multi-national company with headquarters in Milan, Italy, is the newest tenant in The University of Southern Mississippi's state-of-the-art science incubator known as The Accelerator.

Bracco's Healthcare Protective Products Division (HPPD) in Hattiesburg will utilize The Accelerator's resources to begin manufacturing a lotion that neutralizes chemical warfare agents that can prove hazardous to military personnel. The lotion is already used by the U.S. Department of Defense and most NATO militaries.

“We selected The Accelerator at The University of Southern Mississippi because their expertise and resources will allow us to further the development of new technologies in healthcare protective products,” said Tim Henry, vice-president and general manager of Bracco's Healthcare Protective Products Division.

The Accelerator, which opened in March 2010, is Southern Miss' newest initiative to support innovation and entrepreneurship. The $26 million facility offers more than 60,000 square feet of world-class resources and equipment to support early-state science companies.

“The Accelerator was established to attract entrepreneurs and industries to Mississippi to research, develop and market new products and services,” said U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who was on hand for the March opening. “The fact that this state-of-the-art facility at The University of Southern Mississippi is gaining international attention bodes well for the future of The Accelerator as a center that benefits companies like Bracco Diagnostics and helps general jobs and economic growth here.”

Southern Miss President Martha Saunders noted that bringing a prestigious tenant such as Bracco Diagnostic into The Accelerator only fortifies the facility's mission.

“We are excited to announce this relationship between The University of Southern Mississippi and Bracco Diagnostics,” said Saunders. “And we certainly look forward to developing additional collaborations. Initiatives like these are exactly why Southern Miss took the lead role in creating a unique business and science incubator like The Accelerator.”

Accelerator Director Sunny Corral said that in just 10 months of operation the facility has leased 80 percent of the leasable space.

“The Accelerator is creating the economic opportunities via supporting innovative high-tech companies,” said Corral. “Our companies innovate the world in which we live, and at the same time, create sustainable high-paying jobs.”

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree sees the Southern Miss-Bracco partnership as collaboration that will yield important dividends in the Pine Belt area.

“The Accelerator continues to be a magnet for recruiting high-tech companies to Hattiesburg,” said DuPree. “We greatly appreciate Bracco's confidence in our community. The company will create quality jobs for area citizens. Job creation is of paramount importance as our economy continues to rebound from the recession.”

Bracco's plan is to initially hire 10 people to operate the new facility. First production of the life-saving lotion is targeted for this summer.

“We are thrilled to have Bracco join our corporate community,” said Chad Newell, Area Development Partnership president. “We hope Bracco's global footprint and initial investment at The Accelerator is the first step in building a long-term relationship.”

For more information about The Accelerator, visit