Senator Robach Helps Secure Funding For The Rochester Bioenterprise Center


“Rochester is one of the top communities for higher learning and the University of Rochester remains at the forefront of biotechnology research,” stated Senator Joe Robach, “Converting an existing laboratory building into an incubator for bioscience-related commercial ventures will provide the necessary tool for emerging companies to become the future employers of our community. I commend the University and President Joel Seligman for their work which will result not only in advances inacademics and research, but also in the creation of high-paying new careers for our local economy.”

The University has converted a former Wyeth laboratory building at 77 Ridgeland Road in Henrietta into 40,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. The Rochester BioEnterprise Center will be the first technology incubator in the region with the wet lab facilities that are required by biotechnology companies and will serve as an important link in the chain of resources necessary to promote and foster the growth of early stage life science companies on a regional scale.

Rochester region each year and it is anticipated that these numbers will grow as the region becomes more entrepreneurial and local universities generate more innovations with commercial potential. Early stage biotechnology ventures often require long periods of development and validation and in many instances must conduct this work with limited financial investment. Consequently, a critical need for these companies is access to facilities which keep overhead at a minimum. Incubators serve as a temporary home for new companies and allow them to transition from the early research and development phase to active commercialization while operating in an environment that links these entrepreneurs with services, advisors, and potential clients and investors.

The Rochester BioEnterprise Center will provide early stage companies access to cost-effective lab and office space, shared administrative resources, production and storage areas, and access to specialized equipment such as bio-safety hoods, sinks, safety showers, a glassware washer, and an autoclave.

The facility will be managed by High Tech Rochester (HTR), which also manages the Lennox Tech Enterprise Center which caters to non-bio, technology-based clients. HTR will extend its business support services – business and marketing plan development, entrepreneurs-in-residence, and networking with potential clients and investors – to BioEnterprise Center clients. By bringing these professional support services and specialized facilities under one roof the BioEnterprise Center will play a critical role in regional economic development.

Robach added, “I was very happy to work with Senator’s Alesi, Maziarz and Nozzolio to deliver this very important state funding to move this project forward. We will continue our efforts to bring much needed state resources back to the Rochester area to benefit this community.”

The Rochester BioEnterprise Center will be open to any qualified early stage life science, biotech, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical, dental, or health service company that needs wet lab facilities, regardless of its relationship to the University. Three clients are confirmed and have already moved into the building: URMC Labs (laboratory services), NaturalNano (nanomaterials), Egenics (cancer therapeutics). Four additional prospects are engaged in serious discussion and are likely to join the Center by September.