Food & Flavour

New York sketches out $500M plan to build a biotech hub

New York City is realising its dream of building a biotech hub to rival South San Francisco and Boston. The plan is backed by a $500 million financing package and a goal to quadruple the amount of R&D space in the city by 2026. The city also aims to boost NIH funding by 30%, quadruple annual investment in biotech and grow the number of commercial research jobs by 20%.

The centerpiece of the plan is a $100 million investment by the city in a life science campus. City officials envisage the site serving as an institutional anchor for the New York biotech community while also providing a space for entrepreneurial training and R&D partnerships. The city has a broad vision for how to address the constrained growth of the local biotech sector. Notably, the city is offering $300 million in tax incentives to encourage investment in commercial lab space. These tax breaks will carry the burden of addressing the long-standing shortage of space for biotech startups in New York City. 

“One area where we know that we are not the top is in the commercialization of the life sciences,” James Patchett, CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, told Forbes. “And, so, we believe that there’s a moment in time, right now, where if we put our cards on the table we can be a leader in this field.”

A proportion of the financing package is for investment in nonprofit research facilities, which are intended to help New York City’s existing institutions create spaces where their research can advance toward commercialization. In doing so, the city aims to build a bridge between academic researchers and the commercial lab space it hopes to bring online in the coming years.