Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute Opens State’s First Bioscience-Specific Incubator for Science and Tech Companies
PORTLAND, Ore. — Later this month, Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) will officially open the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator (OBI), the state’s first bioscience-specific accelerator for bioscience and tech companies. The OBI will provide scientists and startups with access to entrepreneurial mentoring and a state-of-the-art facility and equipment while their companies reach the next phase of expansion.
Expected to incubate more than 50 high-quality jobs for Oregon’s bioscience sector within the first couple years, the OBI will house up to six up-and-coming, promising companies and their employees. OTRADI joins local companies Aronora and AbSci as the first OBI client companies, filling roughly one third of the 13,000 square-foot complex in Portland’s South Waterfront District.
“The OBI addresses the growing demand for lab space and sophisticated facilities as bioscience continues to advance as a leading economic sector in the state,” said OTRADI Executive Director Jennifer Fox, Ph.D. “By facilitating job growth and by driving science and health discoveries, the OBI will advance Oregon as a hub for bioscience entrepreneurship and innovation.”
The OBI comes at a time when Oregon’s bioscience sector is experiencing steady growth. Just in job creation alone, the state increased employment in the biosciences by nearly 31 percent over the last decade.*
Projections of rapid industry growth have further encouraged investors to support OTRADI’s vision for the OBI, including the Oregon Innovation Council, which has invested nearly $10 million in OTRADI since 2007.
“We see the OBI as a catalyst for sector growth,” 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.”
All OBI client companies will have access to world-class scientific expertise and more than $1 million worth of cutting-edge shared equipment, shared conference facilities and private lab and office space. Located in the heart of Oregon’s health and sciences cluster, the OBI will also bring the added value of proximity to other scientists and bioscience companies.
“The OBI is about more than providing labs and offices to promising bioscience companies,” said Fox. “It’s about providing key services and resources currently out of reach to these companies, either due to cost or availability, so that they can focus time, energy and resources into growing their businesses and successfully commercializing and promoting their discoveries.”
OTRADI will continue filling the OBI space with bioscience and tech-focused companies until it reaches capacity. When the OBI reaches a point when it needs to expand to meet growing demands for wet-lab space and specialized equipment and resources, OTRADI can acquire more space within the Willamette Wharf building.
OTRADI will formally unveil the OBI at a private event for its client companies, donors, partners and other members of the area’s health and science network later this month. On July 25, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., it will open its doors at 4640 SW Macadam Ave., Suite 200, Portland, OR, to the public for an open house. For more information about the OBI, please visit http://otradi.org/
*Stat provided by Battelle/Bio State Bioscience Industry Development 2012 report.
Since its launch in 2007, Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) has been dedicated to broad-based bioscience research, with an emphasis on industry growth and job creation in Oregon. OTRADI achieves these goals through strategic partnerships with businesses and universities to discover, develop and commercialize drugs, diagnostics, medical devices and other bioscience products. OTRADI is partially funded by a legislative allocation to Oregon Innovation Council (Oregon Inc.) and is administered by the Oregon Business Development Department (OBDD). http://www.otradi.org