SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The new executive director of the West Virginia Regional Technology Park told members of the state Higher Education Policy Committee recently he sees tremendous potential for growth and expansion at the South Charleston facility.
Rusty Kruzelock came to West Virginia from a similar facility in Texas a few months ago. He laid out a rough plan for where he wants to take the facility at the HEPC meeting last Thursday.
“We’re going to try to focus on five particular areas,” he said. “We’re going to take advantage of the regional strengths we have in energy and chemical industries that exist, but we’re also going to focus on biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and advanced materials.”
Kruzelock said one huge capability of the park already is the ability to take a chemical process from bench to mid-level production all on the same site with resources to support the project.
“The tech park offers a lot of unique capabilities that do not exist in other facilities in the United States,” Kruzelock said.
One area which is part of the Tech Park’s overall strategic plan is to create downstream work from existing and newly developed industries. He said the ethane cracker proposed for Wood County is an example.
“Work to try to create downstream opportunities from the cracker and do some of the research and development involved,” he said.
Kruzelock said he’s also working to help facilitate more revenue and more operating capital. He said the park is not without funding sources, but the more money generated the more research and growth they will realize on the site.
The tech park used to be owned by Dow Chemical but was given to the state a few years ago. The HEPC took control of the property. It also includes facilities for the Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College and Bridgemont Community and Technical College.