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Ex-DuPont scientists launch contract research firm

Delaware group hopes to employ scientists, bolster research with a lease on lab space at DuPont Experimental Station

by Marc S. Reisch
September 4, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 35

A photo of six STRIDE board members.
Credit: STRIDE
STRIDE board members. Seetha Coleman-Kammula, president, is fourth from left.

A nonprofit group formed by mostly ex-DuPont scientists has leased lab space in a building at the DuPont Experimental Station. The group, called the Science, Technology & Research Institute of Delaware (STRIDE), will use the facilities to operate as a contract research organization for corporate clients and to function as an incubator for start-up businesses.

STRIDE will be among the first tenants to occupy space in the Delaware Innovation Space, a business incubator started up at the Experimental Station in June by DuPont, the State of Delaware, and the University of Delaware. Both STRIDE and the Innovation Space are part of an effort to attract business and employ some of the more than 200 scientists let go in a 2016 R&D reorganization just after DuPont and Dow Chemical announced their merger.

“Many of our industrial clients have been waiting for us to secure lab space,” says Seetha Coleman-Kammula, a Ph.D. chemist who heads STRIDE. Beginning Oct. 1, when it moves into its 70-m2 home, the group will be prepared to offer clients expertise in areas including polymers, computational chemistry, and organometallic synthesis.

STRIDE also intends to offer services to entrepreneurs. The group aims to help scientists advance their research to a stage where they can secure patents, attract funding, and launch businesses.

Delaware Innovation Space President William D. Provine says he expects to sign leases soon with other groups that can benefit by being in a start-up community and near corporate researchers from the likes of DuPont and the drug company Incyte. The mix of start-ups at the Innovation Space will likely include biobased as well as chemistry-related endeavors, he says.


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