Tech Transfer Central
University-Industry Engagement Advisor

Qualified Opportunity Zones: A Powerful Program for University Research and Economic Development

Format: On-Demand Video/Transcript, or DVD
Originally presented: Thursday, January 30, 2020

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Price: $197
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“Qualified Opportunity Zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These zones are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities throughout the country by providing tax benefits to investors who invest eligible capital into these communities.”

– Internal Revenue Service

With over 8,700 qualified opportunity zones in the US — and many of those in close proximity to university campuses — there are countless prospects for universities to invest and partner with their local communities to encourage business growth and economic development while bolstering their research and commercialization ecosystem at the same time.

The Opportunity Zone legislation included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides compelling and powerful incentives designed to drive economic development. Educational institutions, given their long-term stability, are well positioned to take advantage of these incentives, bringing new projects, partners, jobs, and entrepreneurs that nurture the research and commercialization enterprise on and off campus.  Certain colleges and universities have the ability to become pioneers in “ozone” structures — attracting capital and partners to develop large-scale projects such as innovation districts, incubators/research parks, science centers, and other research-focused developments.

With that said, putting together legally compliant structures represents a sizable challenge. 

That’s why Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division has partnered with John Balboni, co-head of Sullivan & Worcester LLP’s National Opportunity Zone Practice Group, and Brian Darmody, CEO of the Association of University Research Parks, for this webinar that explores one of the hottest topics for 2020:

Qualified Opportunity Zones: A Powerful Program for University Research and Economic Development

Our expert panelists will share their practical and real-world experience, and help your university assess the benefits and challenges associated with Opportunity Zones touching upon various stakeholder perspectives. Here’s a quick look at the agenda:

  • Overview of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • Year 2019 Recap and 2020 federal legislative outlook
  • Creative ways that universities and anchor institutions can take advantage of the Opportunity Zone program
  • What can States, regions and anchor institutions do to attract OZ fund managers and leverage OZ fund impact?
  • Will OZ funds be a source financing for tech start-ups?
  • Current deal structures and challenges
  • Applications for real estate and business investment

Meet Your Program Leaders:

Brian DarmodyBrian Darmody
Association of University Research Parks

Brian Darmody is CEO of the Association of University Research Parks, a leading global nonprofit that represents research parks and innovation districts in 41 states, three provinces in Canada, and 13 countries. He leads a board of members committed to creating communities of innovation around universities, federal labs, hospitals and corporations.  AURP members include anchor institutions in many federal Opportunity Zones (OZs). His immediate past position was Associate Vice President for Corporate Engagement at the University of Maryland, College Park. In a career that spans more than 35 years, he served in many roles at UMD and the University System of Maryland, including Special Assistant Vice Chancellor for Technology Development with the University System of Maryland.  At UMD he was responsible for developing business, philanthropic and entrepreneurship linkages between the University with private and government sectors at local, state, and federal levels and internationally, and developing projects and policies to support these initiatives. In his role with the University System of Maryland, he focused on improving technology commercialization across the University System of Maryland and issues supporting university-federal lab partnerships and partnerships among different sectors of higher education.

John G. BalboniJohn G. Balboni
Sullivan and Worcester

John, a member of Sullivan’s Management Committee, is co-leader of the firm’s Real Estate Group and Opportunity Zone Group, focusing on debt and equity transactions. His practice in real estate and finance law includes private/preferred equity investing, structured real estate transactions, all facets of Opportunity Zone matters, syndicated real estate projects, “in-bound” foreign investment, lending matters and fund formation. John’s clients include hedge funds, insurance companies, domestic and international family offices, developers, investment banks, local, national and international banks, REITs and other institutional investors.

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