With millions of businesses choosing to incorporate in Delaware, the state has earned an international reputation for being the most trusted and experienced business law center in the world. But business law expertise doesn’t tell the whole story. Delaware’s enviable location on the east coast assures business leaders they can get anywhere from Delaware, and the state puts a premium on being business-friendly and affordable. Forbes ranked Delaware as having the fifth lowest cost of doing business. Adesis, Solenis, Marlette Funding, Dot Foods, JustFoodforDogs, and Wilmington PharmaTech are just a few of the companies that chose to grow in Delaware.
The DuPont legacy, which dates back more than 200 years, set the stage for Delaware to put a premium on innovation. Executives in Delaware will tell you that the ripple effects of the DuPont company created a sustainable culture of innovation that is thriving now, more than ever. Start-ups including Agtech, Fintech, Chemtech, Biotech and Pharmatech are choosing Delaware to begin their business journey. The emphasis on innovation is being noticed.
- Delaware ranked 6th in the Bloomberg U.S. State Innovation Index
- Delaware Ranked 7th in the Milken Institute Science & Technology Index
The state’s new angel investor tax credit has made it more attractive for venture capitalists to invest in start-ups. When you add it all together, it’s no surprise that site selectors and executives are taking a closer look at Delaware as a place to relocate and grow their businesses.
Business Sectors Looking at Delaware
Logistics: Transforming the Port of Wilmington with $600 Million Investment
The Port of Wilmington is a 10-hour truck drive to 30 percent of America’s population and serves more than 200 million consumers. In 2018, the Emirati port operator Gulftainer signed a 50-year lease with the State of Delaware to privately operate the Port of Wilmington. With its plans to invest approximately $600 million in upgrades, including an expansion of the existing terminal and construction of a new, 1.2 million-TEU terminal; the already busy port will quintuple its capacity. The expansion of the Port of Wilmington by Gulftainer is the largest investment by a private UAE company in the United States and elevates the Port of Wilmington as the largest logistics facility on the Delaware River.
Of the $600 million investment, $410 million will be devoted to the construction of a new container terminal, $85 million to build a new cold storage distribution center, and $73 million to invest in the existing infrastructure. The expansion of the existing dock and crane rail is already underway.
Delaware has a storied history in manufacturing and logistics and the Port of Wilmington plays an essential role in enhancing Delaware’s enviable location along the Northeast corridor. Furthermore, the agreement will significantly bolster Delaware’s economy and trade capabilities. Gulftainer’s royalty payments will provide income for the State of up to $13 million over the next decade, creating a new revenue stream for the State and its citizens.
Manufacturing: Delaware’s Second Largest Traded Sector
With output of nearly $5 billion, manufacturing is a major force in Delaware’s economy and the second-largest traded sector. Delaware features a remarkable diversity in manufacturing that enhances economic stability and minimizes volatility, with a range of products including advanced materials, analytical instruments, biopharmaceuticals, chemicals, performance products, pet foods, space suits, industrial gases, clean tech, construction materials and more.
Delaware also shines when it comes to getting products where they need to go. Its location on the MidAtlantic coast and its investment in infrastructure makes logistics another core strength. Warehousing employment in the state has quintupled over the past five years.
To ensure the state has the talent it needs to support industry; it has made a strategic effort to create educational and training programs to support the growing demand for talent in Delaware manufacturing. Delaware Technical Community College offers a host of two-year programs to develop the skills needed for advanced manufacturing and logistics jobs, and the state recently implemented the advanced manufacturing Pathways program, where high school students receive more than 600 hours of instruction and hands-on experience in Delaware Tech’s labs and complete a 200-hour paid craftsmanship.
Science & Technology: 4th Highest Concentration in the U.S. of PhDs Employed in Health, Science and Engineering
• Ranked 7th in the Milken Institute’s 2018 State Technology and Science Index
• 100+ colleges and universities within two hours
• Home of Incyte, #7 on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies
Innovation is the catalyst for virtually every industry in Delaware, from pharma to farming. Delaware has been the first state for science and engineering for more than 200 years. DuPont’s legacy supported Delaware becoming a global force in science, technology and engineering. Success followed success, and science and technology companies are major employers in the state.
Delaware has been a global hub for advanced chemicals since the DuPont Company opened for business in 1802. Today, chemical manufacturing is the largest manufacturing industry in Delaware—generating $6.4 billion in economic activity—and accounts for one-third of all Delaware manufacturing exports. The state’s position as a leader in advanced chemicals is supported by a deep talent pool, with the highest concentration of chemical engineering jobs in the country and a top-tier talent pipeline from the University of Delaware’s graduate chemical engineering program, ranked among the top 10 programs nationally according to the U.S. News & World Report.
Delaware’s bioscience companies – spanning pharmaceuticals, agriculture, chemicals, and medical devices and diagnostics – are leaders in moving cutting-edge technology from lab to market. Leading pharmaceutical companies are headquartered in the region, where firms collaborate with research and medical institutions to develop and commercialize innovative drugs, diagnostics and medical devices. The number of life sciences firms in the state has grown by more than 60 percent during the past decade, drawing on an existing pool of highly trained and specialized workers. And the state is home to exciting new facilities that will facilitate continued bioscience advances into the 21st century, including the new $156 million Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building at the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology, and Advanced Research (STAR) campus.
Food & Agriculture: Delaware Farms are Among the Most Efficient and Productive in the Nation
- Ranked second in the nation for agricultural value sold per acre,
- More than $1 billion of cash receipts from 2,300 farms on 530,000 acres,
- 40 percent of land use devoted to agriculture production; and
- Leading producers of broiler chickens and lima beans.
Agriculture, Agtech & Food Production
Delaware is one of the country’s leading producers of broiler chickens, generating more than $1 billion in sales annually. Leading poultry processors such as Perdue, Allen Harim, and Mountaire have significant operations in the state, and the industry supports more than 8,500 jobs statewide. With highly-productive soil and generations of skilled farmers, the state is also a significant producer of soybeans, field corn, watermelon, peas, sweet corn, and potatoes, as well as dairy. Its location on the eastern seaboard allows a thriving seafood industry, especially in crabs, clams, and oysters.
Agriscience & Precision Agriculture
Delaware is on the cutting-edge of some of the most modern advances in food and agriculture. Delaware’s agriculture, advanced chemicals, and life sciences sectors work closely together. Delaware-based life sciences companies utilize biologists, animal scientists, and chemists to produce pharmaceutical products for agribusiness. And, multinational companies support Delaware agriculture by advancing R&D in areas like crop breeding, digital ag and more, while farms adopt sophisticated precision agriculture technology. At the University of Delaware, internationally renowned scientists work alongside students to tackle the big issues facing agribusiness, in the classroom and on the school’s 350-acre farm lab that provides hands-on experience with animals, crop plants, wetlands, forests, greenhouses and a working dairy.
Education & Healthcare
- 100+ colleges and universities within two hours
- University of Delaware ranks #1 in Physical Therapy and #8 in Chemical Engineering
- Delaware State University ranks #5 of America’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities – BestColleges.com
- Robust network of technical education, including college, vocational high schools, trade schools and certificate programs
As one of the nation’s prominent leaders in knowledge creation and R&D, Delaware is home to a robust education and healthcare cluster. The state’s expertise in research and development is supported by the collaborations of academic institutions, health systems and private and public partners, not to mention top-tier workforce of professors, engineers, scientists, doctors and more.
The 272-acre STAR (Science, Technology and Advanced Research) Campus at the University of Delaware brings together basic and applied research, academics and innovative business enterprises, including Fortune 500 companies, in one location. And Delaware is at the frontline of health and technology innovation, as our dynamic health systems advance the future of healthcare, from Christiana Care Health System’s Gene Editing Institute to the Dan and Susan Katzin Diagnostic and Research PET/MRI Center at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
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