Atlanta’s Advanced Technology Development Center was ranked the third best university-affiliated incubator program in the United States and Western Europe by a recent Danish study.

A study of 19 incubators was done by Denmark’s National Agency for Enterprise and Construction to judge incubators’ ability to cultivate viable businesses and attract venture capital. It also evaluated incubators’ support services for member companies.

ATDC, which is affiliated with Georgia Institute of Technology and housed in the Centergy Building along with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, was ranked third of 19 centers in “total incubator performance” by the study. The Troy, New York-based Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s incubator ranked second, and MBIdeas, part of the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiative located in Worcester, Mass., ranked first.

ATDC was rated seventh for the number of viable companies exiting the incubator and sixth for attracting outside venture capital. More than 100 companies have graduated from the ATDC, with CardioMEMS Inc., Neurostar Solutions and Vocalocity Inc. graduating this year. Dartfish Ltd. and EG Technology Inc. graduated in 2004. The center currently houses 33 companies.

The Danish study ranked ATDC second among the 19 incubators for its strategic counseling, fundraising, monitoring of progress, outreach to potential business partners, cooperation with universities, network of advisers and degree of technology specialization it provided for its incubator companies. Only the Danish Aalborg University’s NOVI incubator program ranked higher.

The study also praised ATDC for bringing together community resources to assist start-up companies, highlighting the center’s involvement in efforts to support entrepreneurship in Georgia.

ATDC was established in 1980 to grow Georgia’s technology business base. It is part of Georgia Tech’s Office of Economic Development and Technology Ventures, the university’s primary organization for economic development, technology transfer and technology commercialization. The ATDC has locations in Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah and Warner Robins. It was named “incubator of the year” by the National Business Incubation Association in 1996.

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