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PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) today announced its plans to open and operate a 13,000 square-foot multi-tenant bioscience complex in the Willamette Wharf building at 4640 SW Macadam Avenue. Slated to be complete in spring 2013, the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator (OBI) will house up to six companies.
Renovations to the existing space will begin in December and will include a build-out of individual labs, offices, shared equipment and conference facilities and administrative areas. Several area bioscience companies have already reserved approximately 50 percent of the OBI space.
“The OBI will provide promising bioscience startups with access to world-class expertise and resources, further increasing their chances of successful expansion,” said OTRADI Interim Director Jennifer Fox, Ph.D. “By providing cutting-edge shared space and entrepreneurial mentoring we can support the growth of new companies, reduce the barriers between innovative bioscience ideas and successful commercialization, and energize an already thriving bioscience business sector.”
According to the Oregon Bioscience Association, "the bioscience industry is one of the top three economic growth sectors in the state, increasing employment in the biosciences by nearly 31 percent over the last decade."* According to Oregon Bioscience Association’s annual report, Oregon’s bioscience industry contributed $7.1 billion to Oregon’s economy in 2010.
“We have a demand for reasonably priced lab space in the Portland area, and until now, Oregon has lacked the larger, more sophisticated facilities emerging companies need in order to grow,” Oregon Bioscience Association Executive Director Dennis McNannay said. “The OBI will play an important role in keeping these companies in Oregon as they commercialize their research and ideas into products.”
Projections of rapid industry growth over the next several years have further encouraged large-scale investors to support OTRADI’s vision, including the Oregon Innovation Council, which has invested nearly $10 million in OTRADI since 2007.
“The state’s investment in OTRADI is paying real dividends,” Oregon Innovation Council Chair John W. Morgan said. “The OBI gives us one more tool to help bioscience businesses and entrepreneurs create the kinds of jobs that are diversifying Oregon’s economy.”
To fund growth of the OBI venture, OTRADI will continue to collaborate with academic, financial, entrepreneurial, business and government organizations, relying on additional financial support from federal grants, regional partners, and private investors.
Fox stated that throughout 2012 and 2013 OTRADI will actively seek bioscience tenants to lease the remaining space, as well as reach out to key segments of the public to explain the significance of the OBI to Oregon, its economy and everyone’s future quality of life through advanced scientific research and health care.
*Number of jobs created in 2010 provided by Battelle/Bio State Bioscience Industry Development 2012 report.
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