The Austin Technology Incubator has been awarded an Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to develop a public-private partnership (P3) to support an Austin-area wet lab incubator. The P3 project is a result of an earlier ATI feasibility study that quantified demand for wet laboratory space in the Austin vicinity.
Wet labs are laboratories where chemicals, drugs, or biological matter are handled in liquid solutions or volatile phases, requiring direct ventilation and specialized piped utilities. They play a vital role in supporting biotechnology start-ups and accelerating technology commercialization.
According to U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, the grant awarded to ATI “is an example of the Obama administration’s commitment to help local communities create jobs and strengthen the economy.” The development of an Austin wet-lab incubator could add as much as $110 million annually to the local economy and create 1800 jobs.
“The EDA-funded P3 project will allow ATI, in conjunction with our community partners, to explore public-private partnerships as a means to support a local wet laboratory facility to accelerate biotechnology startups,” said Cindy WalkerPeach, PhD, Director of ATI’s Bioscience division.
Over the next year, ATI will evaluate a public-private partnership model as a potential vehicle to cover the wet lab’s expected initial cost of $80 million. Major funding sources may include the City of Austin, the University of Texas, the State of Texas, the EDA, and corporate sponsors.
UT incubator gets $247,000 grant to study wet lab needs
Austin American-Statesman, 10/22/12
ATI lands $247,000 grant to study wet lab needs in Austin
Austin Business Journal, 10/22/12