Clayco Builds New Labs To Accelerate Local Life Sciences Growth
St. Louis, MO (December 16, 2010)
St. Louis has taken another major step to accelerate life sciences and long-term economic growth in the region. The Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences (Coalition) recently announced the opening of the BioGenerator Accelerator Labs within CORTEX, midtown St. Louis’ life sciences district. St. Louis-based design-builder Clayco Inc. completed the 5,400-square-foot build-out project, which is housed in the CORTEX One building at 4320 Forest Park Avenue.
The Accelerator Labs provide critically needed experimental facilities, including costly but vital shared equipment that individual entrepreneurs and start-up companies simply cannot afford. The space is specifically designed for very early stage proof-of-concept technologies, at little or no cost to scientists and entrepreneurs.
“Clayco was pleased to take part in the BioGenerator Accelerator Lab initiative. Giving scientists the resources and spaces to make breakthroughs at their most basic stage, even before the incubator stage, is critical to developing long-term advances for the life sciences sector,” said Kirk Warden, Clayco Senior Vice President and Partner.
The Labs offer 13 individual offices and shared conference space, along with the core assets of two chemistry labs, two biology labs and a large 1,500-square-foot main shared lab. The configuration of the space allows for a unique combination of private office and experimentation space with areas for collaboration and exchange of ideas that is crucial in creative and scientific success.
“The new BioGenerator Accelerator Labs will expand the pipeline of emerging life science companies, thereby enabling the St. Louis region to foster business growth at a much earlier stage. The Accelerator Labs are a bridge to the commercial world for new companies that will locate throughout the St. Louis region, making the Labs an asset for the entire region,” said Dennis Lower, President & CEO of CORTEX.
Clayco played a significant role in the construction of the CORTEX One research and development building in 2006. The expansion within the complex for the Accelerator Labs creates a unique environment in which entrepreneurial researchers will be surrounded by other scientists and academic scholars collaborating within life sciences field.
“The Accelerator Labs are an important step in our region’s long-term efforts to create another pillar of the St. Louis economy. We’ve laid the groundwork for a robust life sciences industry for the past 10 years. With these new facilities, we can now accelerate the very earliest stages of business development,” said John McDonnell, Chairman of the BioGenerator.
The nearly $1 million Accelerator project was funded by the BioGenerator and the Missouri Life Sciences Research Trust Fund. CORTEX is partnering on the project by providing the space to BioGenerator at below market rental rates.
About the Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences The Coalition is a broad-based civic organization comprised of top business, philanthropic, science, and academic leaders working to position St. Louis as a global center in the high-growth bioscience industry. By translating science into commerce, the Coalition promotes the economic vitality of St. Louis.
About the BioGenerator BioGenerator is a privately funded, non-profit organization created to help build successful, sustainable life science companies located in St. Louis. In recent years, the BioGenerator has created and nurtured 13 new seed stage companies, including 6 in the last 18 months alone. Additionally, the BioGenerator is supporting several earlier stage, proof of concept projects to accelerate the creation of new companies.
About the Center of Research, Technology & Entrepreneurial Exchange (CORTEX) CORTEX is a 240-acre bioscience district located in St. Louis’ historic Central West End. The urban science park was founded in 2002 by Washington University of St. Louis, Saint Louis University, the University of Missouri – St. Louis, BJC HealthCare System and the Missouri Botanical Garden who collectively conduct over $600,000,000 of life science related research annually. To date, 860,000 square feet of development has been or is being constructed from investments totaling $292 million.
About the Missouri Technology Corporation The Missouri Technology Corporation is a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to provide leadership and make strategic investments that help entrepreneurs create and grow technology-based Missouri businesses. MTC places its focus on 21st Century bioscience industries building on Missouri’s rich history in agriculture. It is governed by a board of directors appointed by Missouri’s Governor, Speaker of the House, and President Pro Tem of the Senate, and includes the President of the University of Missouri system and the Director of the Department of Economic Development.