SUBSCRIBE NOW

ILC Dover moves headquarters to University of Delaware STAR Campus

Brandon Holveck
Delaware News Journal

ILC Dover, the company that supplied spacesuits for the Apollo 11 mission and is now a leader in the aerospace, defense and pharmaceutical industries, is moving its headquarters to the University of Delaware's Science, Technology and Advanced Research Campus.

ILC Dover has been based in Frederica for the majority of its seven decades in business. It is leasing the top floor of the Tower at STAR, one of the first structures built as part of UD's research-driven campus where the former Newark Chrysler plant stood for almost 60 years.

"Being up here in northern side of Delaware gives those of us who travel quite a bit better access to airports and so forth and from the standpoint of visitors coming in," CEO Fran DiNuzzo said.

Jim Connolly performs a test on an astronaut spacesuit at ILC Dover in Frederica.

DiNuzzo said the new space can fit around 40 employees. ILC Dover is moving its corporate executives and finance and marketing employees north to the new headquarters to open up space at its Frederica production facility, which will remain open.

The ILC Dover floor of the Tower at STAR is fitted out and ready for move in, but most employees are still working primarily from home due to COVID-19. DiNuzzo said he's hopeful they'll make full use of the space at some point this summer after the COVID-19 vaccine is fully rolled out.

ILC Dover is best known for supplying every space suit used by U.S. astronauts since the first Apollo mission, including the suits used when man first walked on the moon in July 1969.

The company has since expanded into several other product lines, producing gas masks used by the U.S. military, inflatable plugs that protect subway systems from floods and other items used in disaster relief, and an airbag that allows NASA launch vehicles to land on land, among other products.

WHAT'S GOING THERE: ALDI grocery store coming to Rehoboth Beach

ILC Dover employs more than 700 people at six facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.

In September, ILC Dover expanded with the acquisition of Solo Containment, a U.K. company that makes products used in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

Photos on display of ILC Dover's history at their Frederica location.  ILC Dover is celebrating 70 years in business.

Built in 2018, the 10-story Tower at STAR features a mix of university classrooms and research facilities and offices for commercial tenants. ILC Dover will lease 10,000 square feet of the 120,000-square-foot facility.

Since the completion of Tower at STAR, UD has opened a biopharmaceutical building on the STAR campus and Chemours opened a research facility. A $38 million financial services technology building is also in development.

Contact Brandon Holveck at bholveck@delawareonline.com. Follow him on Twitter @holveck_brandon.