—The state and the University of Illinois at Chicago has funded a new $3.4 million, 12,000-sq.-ft. lab and office space that will serve as a new hub for city’s bioscience industry.
The Health, Technology, Innovation (HTI) at Chicago Technology Park is within the Illinois Medical District, near the campus of UIC’s Medical School. The new facility is funded through a $1.7 million state capital investment that was matched by $1.7 million of UIC funds. It is expected to open this summer and will house both shared wet and dry laboratory space, in addition to co-working office space.
With a community based approach, HTI will serve university faculty, staff and students, Chicago area research institutions as well as the broader entrepreneurial community as a nexus of biotechnology commercialization. The building will include meeting rooms and classrooms equipped with high-definition video conferencing, recording and streaming. Laboratory and office space will be ready for occupancy in summer 2013.
"Biotechnology start-ups have an often complicated road through development," said Robert Easter, president of the university, in a statement. "With a fresh approach to incubating promising technologies, HTI will provide a foundation that aligns technology and market feasibility early on, even before companies are formed. Our aim is to produce not only more start-ups but more viable start-ups - companies that will advance both health care and economic development."
A recent study by Ernst & Young LLP ranked Illinois at the top of the nation’s biotechnology industry, and the state is at the core of the most vibrant bioscience hub in the United States. The report, “The Economic Engine of Biotechnology in Illinois,” shows the Midwest Super Cluster, which includes Illinois and the surrounding eight-state region, surpassesand the East Coast in biotechnology-related employment, number of establishments and research and development expenditures.
“Illinois’ thriving, cutting edge life sciences sector creates jobs while improving people’s lives,” said Gov. Pat Quinn in the statement. “The HTI will drive further growth in the field, serving as a key resource for our medical science researchers and providing a new platform through which innovative ideas can be developed and introduced to the marketplace.”