The First Life Sciences Incubator in Central Florida to Facilitate Growth and Acceleration of Life Science Innovation
ORLANDO, Fla. (May 10, 2018) – The wait is over for budding life science and biotech startups in Central Florida who have, until now, had limited options for accessible state-of-the-art equipment and business support in one place. Today, the University of Central Florida (UCF) opened the doors of its new Life Sciences Incubator, marking the introduction of the first and only wet-lab incubator in Central Florida.
Tom O’Neal, Ph.D., UCF associate vice president of innovation & commercialization, led the opening ceremony alongside UCF Interim Provost Elizabeth Dooley, Ed.D., Orlando City Commissioner Jim Gray and State Senator Victor Torres. The celebration kicked off with a commemorative unveiling of the incubator, located on the second floor of the GuideWell Innovation Center in the heart of Lake Nona Medical City.
“We are thrilled to open the doors of our Life Sciences Incubator, as we contribute to the exciting work happening in Lake Nona by helping our clients fill critical needs in the fields of life science, health care and biotechnology,” O’Neal said. “This can truly be a game-changer for researchers and the companies they are trying to grow to create new discoveries and high-wage, high value jobs. We look forward to offering an environment that allows them to learn critically important business processes and gives them access to UCF’s depth of scientific knowledge.”
The 10,000-square-foot incubator is the first of its kind in Central Florida, offering private, Biosafety Level II wet labs, private offices, collaboration space, shared equipment and access to support services, including specialized expertise and community partnerships in and around Lake Nona. Incubator clients will have access to a suite of support services, plus additional specialized equipment and expertise from UCF core facilities, ranging from imaging to advanced microfabrication.
“The introduction of the UCF Life Sciences Incubator further strengthens our university’s presence in Lake Nona and solidifies our commitment to promoting innovation, collaborative research and the growth of Central Florida’s burgeoning life sciences community,” said UCF Vice President for Research and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies Elizabeth Klonoff. “UCF believes in the power of partnerships and this facility exemplifies the value of working together to make things happen that simply would not be possible otherwise.”
About UCF Business Incubation Program
The UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership designed to help create and sustain jobs in the community and spur economic growth throughout the region. This goal is accomplished by helping new and struggling early-stage businesses grow to the point where they need to hire employees to continue operating and growing. Since 1999, we have assisted more than 350 early-stage companies, who’ve sustained nearly 3,700 jobs throughout Central Florida. These companies have also had a total impact on regional economic output (GDP) in the amount of $2.48 billion.