When Innovation Park was created in 2009, the blueprint was ambitious: a Notre Dame professor’s research would demonstrate commercial potential, and the new facility would house and nurture a startup company to bring a product to market, bringing new companies and jobs to the community.
Sometimes, vision and reality fit like a zipper, exactly the way F Cubed CEO Les Ivie said his company’s diagnostic biochips attach to a target DNA.
The startup company’s diagnostic unit and biochip kits can test in an hour for problems that take at least two days from off-site labs, giving it a broad range of applications in health, food safety and environmental monitoring. The system is based on research by Hsueh-Chia Chang, Bayer Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Notre Dame.
F Cubed started in Innovation Park in 2009 and recently graduated to Notre Dame’s Hillcrest Hall, where it has started manufacturing biochips while awaiting a new building in the city’s Ignition Park. The company, now employing nine people and three Ivy Tech interns, is just one of 25 hopeful startups at Innovation Park that could spiral into hundreds of jobs.
“There will be others,” said Ivie. “Our desire is to be in a location where there is more of this happening.”