Roanoke-Blacksburg region building biotech hub
Those plans begin with three accelerators for companies at different stages of development.
The Roanoke-Blacksburg region of Virginia has big plans for the biotech sector, and a regional coalition is building a biotechnology hub, including new lab space and an innovation studio, in Downtown Roanoke.
Those plans begin with three accelerators for companies at different stages of development. According to this article in Cardinal News, the three programs are:
- The Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP) at George Mason University, which is focused on very early-stage start-ups working to establish their business;
- Regional Accelerator & Mentoring Program (RAMP) in Roanoke, which is designed for companies that are a couple of years old and ready to grow; and
- Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS Incubation Program, which is for well-established start-ups looking to scale their business.
The third accelerator is part of a global program that can help connect companies to additional resources.
“Thanks to forward-thinking collaboration, Roanoke is emerging as a place biotech companies want to be,” said Marc Nelson, City of Roanoke Director of Economic Development. “Cutting-edge, affordable lab space, educational pipelines, and wrap-around business support has created an environment that generates life-changing technologies.”
The biotechnology hub is expected to generate 250 jobs with an average salary of $70,000 per year over five years, with a $17.5 million return in employment-related revenue for the local economy.