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Biotech center receives additional state funding

iBio-NY, a biotechnology incubator run by New York Medical College at the Grasslands campus in Valhalla, received an additional $1 million from the state’s economic development funds for construction.

The project is expected to create 140 full-time jobs and 75 part-time jobs in the area. Last year, the center received $4 million in state funding.

“Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, it is now possible to see important economic development projects move from concept to construction at a remarkably fast pace,” said Dennis Murray, president of Marist College and co-chair of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC). “New York Medical College is now providing innovative entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need to succeed.”

The incubator will allow small start-up biotechnology firms to discover candidate drugs and vaccines for advance development and commercialization, in support of New York’s BioHudValley initiative.

The initial stages of the project, expected to cost $14 million for all currently funded projects, are being supported by a grant from Empire State Development (ESD), which was secured by the MHREDC, as well as the New York Generating Employment through New York Science (GenNYsis) program for all currently funded projects, New York’s Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program (HECap), and private institutional funds from NYMC.

The renovated facility also will house a regional biotech business training center, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), and will be operated collaboratively with the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. and Westchester Community College.

Future phases of the project will establish a clinical skills and simulation center, where medical students will train with human body simulator mannequins and trained professional actors. The center will also house a specialized training facility for the college’s Center for Disaster Medicine, which collaboratively supports disaster preparedness with agencies of the U.S. Government, New York State and the counties of the Hudson Valley.

The first phase of renovated spaces is expected to be open and ready for use later in 2013.

“The biotechnology industry is a cornerstone of the Hudson Valley’s regional economy, and thanks to initiatives like iBio it will only continue to grow and drive this area forward,” said Kenneth Adams, CEO and commissioner of ESD. “The incubator being established at New York Medical College will turn concepts into companies, and that is great news for everyone.”

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Sam Barron is a former reporter for The Westchester county Business Journal.

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