Public-private partnerships serving Mid- and West-Central Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Mid-Central Research and Outreach Center (MCROC) is a partner and anchor for the MinnWest Technology Campus, a 110-acre collaborative business community in Willmar, a regional center located 90 miles west of the Twin Cities.

Comprising more than 40 buildings in a beautiful lakeside setting, the MinnWest campus provides a supportive high-tech environment—for both established businesses and startups—in science, technology, and agribusiness.

The three-story MCROC opened in spring 2012 in a renovated historic building as a home for a bioscience research laboratory, educational partnerships and business development resources, and a regional extension office for the University. It leverages the resources of many University programs to build collaborations advancing economic growth and quality of life in Willmar and a surrounding 14-county area.

One of Minnesota’s significant regional centers for industry, government, education, and health care, the area has a notably diversified economic base, increasing cultural diversity, and growing biotech industries with global reach.

The City of Willmar and the Kandiyohi County and Willmar Economic Development Commission have provided strong support for the MCROC-MinnWest collaboration, leveraging public and private funding and facilitating the engagement of the regional business community. The MCROC building was supported in part by a $1.25-million state bioscience infrastructure grant along with a matching contribution by MinnWest Technology Campus.