Growth continues at Irvine Spectrum

Business center attracts spectrum of companies

Nearby UCI is one attraction of a Spectrum location

From entrepreneurial start-ups to Fortune 500 firms, companies of all kinds are choosing Irvine Spectrum.

Located at the heart of Southern California’s Technology Coast, Irvine Spectrum is one of the fastest growing research, technology and business centers in the world today, with more than 2,200 firms that collectively employ 44,000 workers.

Over the past 10 years Irvine Spectrum has attracted leaders in biotechnology, computers, electronic components, communications, engineering, software/information services and a variety of other industries. And many of its corporate residents have grown up in Irvine Spectrum, moving to larger facilities as they continue to expand and grow.

Wonderware Corp., a manufacturer of industrial automation software for running factories, moved its staff of four people from its founder’s spare bedroom in 1988 to a 700-square-foot office in Irvine Spectrum. After nine months, the company needed more space and moved to another suite in the same complex. Over the succeeding four years, the company knocked out doorways and walls, taking over adjacent suites.

Finally, in August of 1993, Wonderware opened its present 32,000-square-foot corporate headquarters facility. And since then three other facilities have been added, for a total of 120,000 square feet, to house more than 325 people. Worldwide, the company employs 420 people and sells more than $80 million of software annually, with nearly half of that generated in international markets.

Executive testimonial

“Through all of our growth, we decided to remain in Irvine Spectrum because the area provides the kind of environment that high technology companies need to survive,” said Roy Slavin, president and CEO of Wonderware.

“First, there is a large community of very skilled people from which to draw our employee base,” Slavin added. “And the Irvine and surrounding Orange County area provide a lifestyle and culture that is appealing, therefore it’s a plus when it comes to recruiting people from outside the area. Additionally, we have an outstanding educational system, from K-12 and in our local UC, Cal State, community colleges and private universities.”

Slavin also noted that Irvine has a full complement of business and professional services needed by any company – in the form of accounting, legal, financial and other services. Slavin adds: “And you simply can’t beat the weather — it’s a great place to live and work.”

Irvine Spectrum provides a highly supportive business environment for entrepreneurs and cutting-edge start-ups.

CoCensys, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops products to treat central nervous system disorders, was founded by three partners in 1989 and is today considered one of the leading biopharmaceutical R & D firms. The company’s products focus on novel, small molecule compounds for the treatment of migraine, epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, stroke, head trauma and neurodegenerative diseases. Originally based in Los Angeles, CoCensys began looking for a larger facility in 1991.

Nurturing environment

“When our founders looked for a new location to accommodate our expansion, Irvine was the logical choice,” said F. Richard Nichol, president/CEO of CoCensys. “It offers a business environment that nurtures emerging companies – both in the number and variety of other companies doing business here and in the availability of skilled professionals who are innovative thinkers. It is also home to UCI, which plays an active role in putting ideas, people and resources together. Irvine offers us everything that we need in a working and workable environment.”

In addition to being a clean, safe place to operate a business, Irvine Spectrum is known for it’s amenities – from readily available recreation and entertainment venues such as movie theaters, restaurants and golf courses, to ample retail, hotels and transportation systems.

Interpore International is a biomaterials company in Irvine Spectrum that develops medical devices for the repair of bone and soft tissue. The company’s synthetic bone graft products, known as Pro Osteon (, are derived from marine coral and used primarily for the repair of certain skeletal defects. Sales are expected to reach $15 million this year.

“It’s important for us to have a facility that is clean and well maintained, with a `high-tech’ feel, without being opulent,” said David Mercer, CEO of Interpore. “In terms of location, there are plenty of area amenities, such as Irvine Spectrum, with first-class restaurants for entertaining customers and hosting VIP luncheons.”

UCI connection

A significant factor for many firms choosing an Irvine location is the ability to forge collaborative relationships with the University of California, Irvine. Canon Information Systems, which develops software for Canon products, recently moved its corporate headquarters from Costa Mesa to University Research Park, adjacent to the University of California, Irvine.

Canon’s move was spurred by the company’s growth, which couldn’t be accommodated at their previous location, according to Ron Stoffel, senior director of human resources and general affairs at Canon. Stoffel also said the company had achieved a level of evolution commanding a more visible presence in the high-technology community, which Irvine had gained a reputation for.”University Research Park is a perfect location for us for several reasons,” said Stoffel. “It is a prestigious location with significant expansion potential, offers a high-quality work environment for our staff, and affords us the opportunity to develop a relationship with a world-class university, its faculty, and students.”

More information about Irvine Spectrum and University Research Park can be obtained at (714) 453-2400 at The Irvine Co.’s web site, www.irvineco.com.

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