The University of Texas at Austin IC2 Institute’s Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), recently announced a new partnership with one of the world’s leading hospital and medical infrastructure teams to develop a new wet-laboratory incubator in Austin. This multinational infrastructure team, led by Balfour Beatty/Estrada Hinojosa, will help ATI manage an Economic Development Administration grant in order to ultimately develop a public-private partnership (P3) for the wet laboratory incubator, and to develop a series of P3 models. The facility is expected to be 150,000 square foot with an initial $100 million project cost.
Cindy WalkerPeach, PhD, Director, ATI-Bio/Health Sciences, explained the significance behind the new partnership:“Wet laboratories are essential for accelerating innovative life science technologies into the market place. Along with IP, talent and capital, wet laboratories support critical proof of concept experiments and early product development.” While a wet laboratory is usually a facility where chemicals and drug treatments are developed, the wet laboratory incubator concept is far more audacious, with plans to have the facility house a mixture of complementary companies in both the life sciences and energy industry. The ultimate goal is for the incubator to “facilitate the interaction between academia and industry, promoting economic development, and potentially focusing bioscience entrepreneurship in Austin,” according to a recent press release.
ATI chose the Balfour Beatty/EH team because of the groups proven leadership in building medical and research infrastructure. The company is a leader in the P3 U.S. commercial construction industry, and have a proven track record in building facilities for professional services, construction services, support services and infrastructure investments. Ken Portnoy, Vice President for Public Private Partnerships at Balfour Beatty Construction said, “We and our friends at Estrada Hinojosa Investment Bankers are excited about teaming with ATI to identify public private partnership (P3) options that can bridge funding gaps and support the delivery and long-term viability of the Austin Technology Incubator. We believe that the key driver of a successful P3 solution is the goal of economic development through strong and sustainable job creation.”