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MinnWest Technology Campus open house set for Tuesday

WILLMAR -- The MinnWest Technology Campus of Willmar will hold an open house from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the campus located at 1700 Technology Dr. N.E. The event includes a Willmar Fests Queen Candidate Basket Auction, campus tours, tenant booths, food, refreshments and prizes.

The open house theme is "Building on Success," which refers to Phase II of the long-term growth plan, according to Steve Salzer, general manager.

Phase I started in 2006 when a group of private business owners purchased the former Regional Treatment Center campus from the State of Minnesota.

During Phase I, MinnWest invested $6.25 million to convert the historic 100-acre campus into a high-tech, high-functioning home for bioscience, technology and agribusiness innovators, and created a small-business hub for all types of support and service professionals.

MinnWest is home to 18 companies and over 250 full-time employees who enjoy a campus culture that nurtures collaboration and offers amenities such as a fitness center, gymnasium, auditorium, and meeting space.

Phase II started in 2009 as an effort to build on the success of the first three years. Highlights to date include the addition of an on-campus daycare, an agreement with the University of Minnesota to bring a research facility to campus, and a conditional use permit for America's first E. coli vaccine for cattle, granted to campus tenant Epitopix, said Salzer.

By the end of Phase II, in 2011, MinnWest will have invested another $5 million on campus amenities and infrastructure, and expects to have over 20 business tenants, Salzer said.

He said the campus looks forward to Phase III from 2012 to 2014, which is called "Realizing a Dream." During this time, the campus hopes to reach 30 business tenants and achieve global recognition as a place where bioscience, technology and agribusiness companies can innovate, collaborate and succeed.

For more information about the campus, phases or map of campus tenants and availabilities, visit www.mnwesttechnology. com.

-- From staff reports