The venture is being led by Concept Companies, a US real estate development firm, with Thermo Fisher Scientific becoming a founding sponsor of the space, which will be known as Momentum Labs.
According to the partners, Thermo Fisher and Momentum Labs will provide life science instruments and lab equipment, infrastructure and resources to support the biotechs that use the lab facilities within the region.
Abhinav Akhoury, vice president, corporate accounts, Thermo Fisher Scientific, said: “From a regional and state perspective, Momentum Labs provides critical infrastructure and business development resources to support the growth of life sciences in Florida, giving the ecosystem the opportunity to retain companies rather than losing them to other communities. Through our sponsorship, Momentum Labs has the ability to provide the latest innovative technologies to high-growth life science companies that are developing tomorrow’s life-changing medicines.”
The North Central region of Florida is home to one of the largest biotech clusters in the state, with more than 100 life science companies located in the area. Those involved in the location state that Momentum Labs will become the first space of its type in the region, whilst pointing out that the area lacks “flexible growth space.”
More broadly, Florida counts as a major biotech hub in the US, with more than 1,500 life sciences establishments, $2bn (€1.85bn) in annual life science spending by universities in the state, and is home to the second largest pharma manufacturing industry.
The benefits of launching such a space is that 84% of companies will stay in the location where they received support and funding, and the companies that receive support from incubator programs are 87% more likely to survive, the collaborators stated.
On announcing the space in 2021, Brian Crawford, chief executive at Concept Companies, outlined that such spaces are important for smaller-scale companies that cannot afford the expense of the equipment needed. He added that the acquisition and installation of such equipment takes time, which early-stage companies may not be able to support.
Momentum Labs itself is located in Alachua, Florida, and covers 55,000-square-feet of space, featuring lab and office space, two loading bays, collaborative workspace, kitchen space, and common support labs.
The lab space is part of the wider ‘The Progress District’, which comprises 850 acres of space, 44 companies, and over 1,000 employees.