University of Louisiana-Monroe to Launch Biomedical Research Park with Partners

March 17, 2021 14:22:30

Several economic development figures and public officials recently established a research park to help attract science, technology and biomedical companies to Monroe, Louisiana. The not-for-profit organization launched the Biomedical Research and Innovation Park, which would collaborate with the University of Louisiana-Monroe and would inhabit a proposed facility near the institution’s College of Pharmacy facility.

Monroe’s Dr. Ray Armstrong, who was the lead in the creation of the research park, stated that the park would not only focus on biomedical research but that its objective would be to encourage innovation in every field and promote economic development throughout Northeast Louisiana.

University of Louisiana-Monroe president Ron Berry stated that the university hoped to be involved in the development efforts and research projects conducted by the park, noting that the research park wasn’t owned by the institution. Berry explained that the university was a part of the park, which was not a university project, adding that the research park would be a great economic development tool.

Berry is among 19 individuals who will be serving on the board of directors for the Biomedical Research and Innovation Park. Other members include Mayor Friday Ellis; Mayor Staci Mitchell; Scott Rule who is the Louisiana Delta Community College Chancellor; and representatives from local economic development organizations and chambers of commerce, medical professionals and developers, among others.

Armstrong explained that he first got the idea of setting up a research park in Monroe in September 2007 after he attended an Association of University Research Parks meeting. The project required financing for a feasibility study, which Armstrong partially acquired from Joe Holyfield of Holyfield Inc., who is also an Entergy Louisiana and Monroe developer. Armstrong noted that he had talked to many individuals about the research park for years and added that if other individuals hadn’t gotten involved in the project, it wouldn’t have been as successful.

Entergy Louisiana’s Amanda Edge stated that the utility firm wanted to fund the project to help support the College of Pharmacy at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Edge explained that the company also believed that the project would give rise to other economic development opportunities.

According to Holyfield and Berry, the board of the research park is considering bringing pharmaceutical manufacturing firms to the park as its first focus. Holyfield explained that the park’s greatest potential could be in the pharmaceuticals industry, with Berry noting that the majority of drug production for the United States currently occurs outside the country.

Public officials in Monroe are right to take steps to attract biomedical industry players since the potential economic benefits are immense. For instance, Texas-based United Medical Equipment Business Solutions Network Inc. operates in a medical supplies market that was valued at $80 billion in 2019, so bringing just a fraction of that pie to Monroe would be transformative for the local economy.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to United Medical Equipment Business Solutions Network Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at

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