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News

New multi-tenant facility to provide growing biotech companies with flexible lab space

Alberta Research Council : 01 July, 2006  (New Product)
Young, growing biotechnology companies in Greater Edmonton and Alberta will soon have a new 72,000-square-foot 'wet lab' facility at Edmonton Research Park to help them unleash their innovative and commercial potential.
Western Economic Diversification Canada and Alberta Innovation and Science will each provide $2.5 million in grants to help construct the $14.2-million project, spearheaded by Edmonton Economic Development Corp. The City of Edmonton will provide $1.2 million in land and in-kind services (through EEDC) and provide an $8-million loan for the project.

'The development and commercialization of biotechnology products and services is vital to the diversification of Western Canada's economy,' said the Honourable Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Stephen Owen, Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport). 'WD's investment will provide new opportunities for Alberta researchers and businesses to bring their ideas and products to the global marketplace.'

When completed in the summer of 2007, the facility, to be named the Biotechnology Business Development Centre, will house 10,000 square-feet of low-cost shared lab space for Alberta companies, particularly those in Greater Edmonton. Approximately 55,000 square feet of cost-effective, customizable office and lab space will be available to tenants.

'Putting innovation to work and turning research into marketable products and services is a vital element of the government of Alberta's 20-year strategy,' said Victor Doerksen, Minister of Alberta Innovation and Science. 'This Centre will play a key role in helping biotech companies in the early stages of commercial development to become globally competitive and thrive.'

Eight studies over the past 14 years have identified the need for wet lab space to keep young biotechnology companies in Greater Edmonton as they grow, improving the chance they will remain in Edmonton and build their own facilities once they are large enough.

'The Biotechnology Business Development Centre is a key investment in our city's knowledge-based industries,' says Mayor Stephen Mandel. 'Edmonton is home to the majority of Alberta's biotechnology companies and a new, accessible wet lab will help us continue to build this important industry cluster.'

EEDC will manage the facility and is currently pre-leasing space to interested biotechnology companies.

The BBDC will be built on land adjacent to the Alberta Research Council, pending the approval of the expansion of the park's land base. Construction is slated to begin in the late spring or summer of 2006.

'The BBDC will be an excellent complement to the range of services and support that the Alberta Research Council currently offers to biotechnology small- and medium-sized businesses,' says Myka Osinchuk, Director of Life Sciences at ARC. 'The close proximity of facilities and services will allow for one-stop shopping for our developing companies.'

Western Economic Diversification Canada, a department of the Government of Canada, stimulates the development and diversification of Western Canada's economy, advances the interests of the West in national economic policy and coordinates federal economic activities in the West. For more information on WD, visit: www.wd.gc.ca.

Alberta Innovation and Science consolidates the provincial government's research and development activities in three priority areas: energy, information and communications technology and life sciences. Strategic investments and collaboration with educational institutions, industry and other governments are helping to, bring people, facilities and resources together to strengthen the province's capacity for innovation and to build a more globally competitive, knowledge-based economy where Albertans will prosper for many generations to come. For more information, visit: www.innovation.gov.ab.ca.

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, wholly owned by the City of Edmonton, is strategically focused on Greater Edmonton's economic future. Guided by a 15-person volunteer Board of Directors comprised of Edmonton's business leaders, EEDC is responsible for regional economic development, regional tourism marketing, management of the Shaw Conference Centre and the Edmonton Research Park. To learn more about Greater Edmonton's industry clusters, visit www.edmonton.com
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