Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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April 30, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News | First phase of Science Square at Georgia Tech launched

The University of Delaware has high hopes for its new, $150 million Securing American Biomanufacturing Research and Education (SABRE) Center.

From the Georgia Institute of Technology:

At an event last week in Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Trammell Crow Company celebrated the transformation of Atlanta’s booming skyline with the launch of the first phase of Science Square, a pioneering mixed-use development dedicated to biological sciences and medical research and the technology to advance those fields.

The first phase of the Science Square development includes Science Square Labs, a 13-story purpose-built tower with state-of-the-art infrastructure to accommodate wet and dry labs and clean room space. To promote overall energy efficiency as well as sustainability, the complex houses a massive 38,000-square-foot solar panel. The solar panel system is in addition to an energy recovery system that extracts energy from the building’s exhaust air and returns it to the building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Electrochromic windows, which tint during the day to block ultraviolet rays and steady the temperature while also controlling the environment — key in research labs — are also featured throughout the building.

“The opening of Science Square’s first phase represents one of the most exciting developments to come to Atlanta in recent years,” said Ángel Cabrera, President of Georgia Tech. “The greatest advances in innovation often emerge from dense technological ecosystems, and Science Square provides our city with its first biomedical research district, which will help innovators develop and scale their ideas into marketable solutions.”

Equipped with technologically advanced amenities and infrastructure, Science Square Labs serves as a nexus for groundbreaking research, enabling collaboration between academia, industry, and startup ventures. Portal Innovations, a company specializing in life sciences venture development, is among the first tenants to establish operations at Science Square, as Atlanta takes center stage as the country’s top city for research and development employment growth.

From the University of Houston and Rice University:

The two Houston-based universities are continuing their 11-year collaboration to support entrepreneurship in the city by announcing the latest cohorts of their respective start-up and small business accelerators, RED Labs and OwlSpark. This summer the accelerators will host their ventures at the Ion, the heart of the Houston innovation corridor in Midtown.

By uniting forces, the University of Houston and Rice provide tailored support to emerging start-ups and small businesses, further solidifying Houston’s position as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. This partnership creates an environment that cultivates entrepreneurs and early stage start-up teams, enabling founders to share ideas, experience the value of collaboration and surround themselves with the best people and resources.

“The collaboration the University of Houston has with Rice University gives founders in RED Labs and OwlSpark a unique opportunity to grow along their peers in the larger Houston community and really exemplifies the spirit of collaboration that the Houston business ecosystem is known for,” said Managing Director of RED Labs Liana Gonzalez-Schulenberg. “It never fails to surprise me at the end of the summer the relationships built, the support systems created and collaborations produced across our universities. By working together, we empower the next generation of entrepreneurs to work together as they turn their visions into reality and drive positive change in the community.”

Over the course of 11 weeks, 18 start-up and small business teams will engage in an immersive experience that blends supportive founders, industry leaders, investors and mentors, unrivaled entrepreneurial training, and an invitation to Houston’s thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem. The cohort encompasses a diverse range of sectors, reflecting the dynamic landscape of Houston’s economy.

The Ion — Houston’s innovation hub powered by Rice — offers collaborative spaces and a community where ideas go to grow. Through the accelerator, teams will access top-tier mentors, training and co-working space, making it the ideal location to foster innovation and collaboration among aspiring entrepreneurs.

From Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:

The institution is taking big steps to inspire more entrepreneurship from the university – a plan that includes a $10 million investment fund and new incubators. According to Albany Inno, it is part of the new RPI Ventures that includes the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship — the university’s entrepreneurship program that’s been undergoing changes — as well as a multimillion-dollar early stage start-up fund and a brain trust.

Joshua D. Espinosa, who joined the university about three months ago as the Assistant Vice President of RPI Ventures, said the creation of the office comes from a renewed push from the university to prioritize entrepreneurship.

“RPI is a really dominant institution in this area when it comes to things like hard technology innovation, and so from my perspective coming in, I saw the opportunity to really, frankly, capture a lot of low-hanging fruit and just make it much more frictionless to start a company, both on the students and faculty side,” he said.

RPI Ventures is planning to re-launch an on-campus startup incubator, and future plans also include an off-campus incubator as RPI looks to strengthen its relationship with the City of Troy, especially as the region moves forward with innovation in areas like semiconductors.

From the University of Delaware:

The University has high hopes for its new, $150 million Securing American Biomanufacturing Research and Education (SABRE) Center.

It is a 70,000-square-foot facility, funded primarily by federal and state contributions, that the University expects to result in manufacturing innovations in a production-relevant environment on a wide variety of cutting-edge biopharmaceuticals, such as gene therapies, mRNA vaccines, and other biopharmaceuticals. The goal is to provide a collaborative space for  biopharmaceuticals that will accelerate the development of new manufacturing technologies and approaches into widespread commercial adoption.

The space allows for biopharmaceutical companies to test their innovations in a Food and Drug Administration-regulated environment, complementing research and development work at NIIMBL (National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals).

From Texas Tech University:

The University’s Innovation Hub at Research Park has 15 entrepreneurial programs to assist start-ups, including seed funding. They range from an ideation program named the Pantex Innovation Challenge that crafts solutions for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Pantex plant to the Texas Tech Accelerator Program that supports entrepreneurs launching innovative new companies.

In 2023, companies located in the 44,000-square-foot Innovation Hub raised $8 million in capital investments and were awarded 68 new trademarks, patents, and/or copyrights. The Hub has 60 industry mentors supporting start-ups with more than 7,000 volunteer mentor hours logged last year.

“We’re all about economic development — we want students at Texas Tech to learn here, grow their company here and stay in West Texas,” said Taysha Williams, Managing Director at the Innovation Hub.

From Furman University:

During the next installment of Advantage Greenville, The Hill Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is convening top leaders in various healthcare fields from across South Carolina to discuss the state of artificial intelligence and the transformative impacts that individuals will see in healthcare, both now and in the future. The free event runs from 7:30 to 10 a.m. EDT May 17 at the Greenville One Center in Downtown Greenville, SC. To register, click here.

From Case Western Reserve University:

  • Cleveland Inno reports the University has redeveloped the former BioEnterprise Inc. building in University Circle into a new start-up incubator for early stage businesses in the biotech, health tech, and engineering fields. The incubator is part of the Cleveland Innovation District, the $565 million, public-private initiative started in January 2021 to invest in the city’s leading healthcare, research, and education institutions and put Cleveland on the world map for virus and pathogen innovation. For the University, the idea is to create state-of-the-art space for new companies that would scale to fit their needs. The four-story, 80,000-square-foot incubator building hosts 30,000 square feet of wet lab space with lease options ranging from a single eight-foot bench to large private labs. Tenants also can choose dry lab and administrative spaces, including private and offices and cubicles.
  • The University hosted a public event last week for university and industry researchers, manufacturers and others interested in sustainable manufacturing and the circular economy. The half-day session featured an overview of the progress on the “Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative” launched by Case Western in February 2023, and the subsequent National Science Foundation “Regional Innovation Engines Development Award” that it received in May 2023.

From the University of Colorado Boulder:

Venture Partners at CU Boulder, the commercialization arm of the University, is celebrating its accomplishments during 2023. Leading the list is the fact that campus researchers and inventors created a strong crop of 162 breakthrough technologies this past year.

In 2023, Venture Partners executed 68 license and option agreements to partner CU Boulder technologies with commercial businesses. The Venture Partner start-up portfolio raised $504 million in new capital over the past year, and 18 CU Boulder spinouts have exited since 2000.

Venture Partners also launched a new opportunity this past year to its suite of world-class programming, the Embark Deep Tech Startup Creator. Embark pairs entrepreneurs with promising CU Boulder technologies and, in its first year, launched 10 promising new businesses.

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