Delaware has launched a pilot program to expand availability of ready-to-go laboratory space statewide.
The Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) sees expanding the state’s inventory of ready-to-go lab space as a way to attract and retain science and tech companies - and the jobs they bring.
The partnership’s director of innovation Ariel Gruswitz says this program seeks to address the state’s lab-space gap.
“We knew that this was an issue for companies here that were trying to grow and did not have an adequate inventory of ready-to-go lab space to grow into as they grew out of the incubators that are located in a couple of places in the State - one is at the University of Delaware and the other is at the on the DuPont Experimental Station Campus at the Delaware Innovation Space (Inc.),” Gruswitx said.
Gruswitz says the State’s Council on Development Finance allocated up to $3 million from the Delaware Strategic Fund last year to the Graduation Lab Space effort.
She adds that the Delaware Prosperity Partnership is already vetting companies to see if they qualify for the program. They need to be working with developers on a specific project in order to apply for a grant offering up to 33% of lab space fit-out costs.
“Basically anything that is wet-lab oriented," said Gruswitz. "Several of the different types of industries that we see strengths in Delaware for are anything bio-science related, chemistry, advanced materials, energy - those sorts of companies.”
Gov. John Carney is asking for an additional $10 million for the Graduation Lab Space program in his Fiscal Year 2022 budget plan.