NYC announces plan for $20M biotech hub at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

January 27, 2023

Image courtesy of alh1 on Flickr

During his State of the City address, Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday announced plans to open a $20 million biotech innovation hub at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The “first-in-the-nation incubator” would include 50,000 square feet of office, lab, and programming space for biotech startups and companies at the former shipyard, as THE CITY first reported.

In addition to adding jobs in the life sciences industry, the tech hub will help the city meet its carbon neutrality goals, according to the mayor. The center, which would be the first of its kind in the country, is expected to open within the next couple of years.

According to THE CITY, the $20 million investment from the city is made possible through the LifeSci NYC initiative, a $1 billion commitment made by former Mayor Bill de Blasio in June 2021 to secure NYC’s place in the world as a leader in the life sciences industry.

“We will start by opening a first-in-the-nation incubator at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where biotech startups will transform the way we eat, build, and protect our environment,” Adams said in his address Thursday. “And as we work to create more jobs, we will also help New Yorkers train for the jobs that are in high demand right now — jobs in tech, renewable energy, and nursing.”

Following the mayor’s announcement, the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) issued a request for expressions of interest for an operator to open a new hub for “materials science innovation.” According to the agency, the Materials Innovation Hub, will focus on the “connection between key NYC legacy industries – including, but not limited to, medicine, packaging, construction, fashion – for which biomaterial products and applications will become increasingly prevalent.”

The RFEI reads: “The Materials Innovation Hub should also provide space and resources for a diverse group of growth-stage life sciences companies, encourage collaboration across industries, and foster a sense of community between the Materials Innovation Hub and the life sciences and green economy ecosystems.”

Responses to the RFEI are due May 3.

The proposed biotech hub builds upon the city’s effort to expand its life sciences industry. NYC’s life science field is a rapidly expanding industry, with the city employing more than 750,000 New Yorkers in related jobs as of October 2022. An additional 150,000 jobs were created in 2021, and the number is projected to increase exponentially with the creation of new technology centers.

“Sustainable biology is a game-changing industry that will play a pivotal role in creating the sustainable materials, products, and industries of the future while accelerating our transition to a zero-waste economy,” Andrew Kimball, president and CEO of EDC, said.

In October 2022, Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a new, state-of-the-art life sciences hub that will open in Kips Bay. Located on East 25th Street and First Avenue, the $1.6 billion campus will provide modern facilities for 4,500 City University of New York students, a health care and sciences high school, an ambulatory care center, a Health + Hospitals training center, and a training center for forensic pathologists.


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