Grand Canyon University has announced plans to commence construction on a 50,000-square-foot wet lab in January, and already at least three suitors are vying for the facility.
And why not? As pointed out in Battelle’s Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap and elsewhere, wet lab space is one of the most significant challenges currently facing Arizona’s bioscience enterprise.
According to the report, Arizona needs about 450,000 additional square feet of wet lab space if it is to keep pace with its goal of an additional $100 million in annual funding from the National Institutes of Health.
And while the addition of facilities such as the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, Bio5 at University of Arizona, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have brightened the picture for universities and nonprofits, much improvement is required if the commercial market is to keep pace.
“At any given time, I know about three to seven companies that are looking for space,” Jon McGarity, president of the Arizona BioIndustry Association, told the Business Journal. “There are two companies in Chicago I’ve been in discussions with that want to move out here, but there’s no place for them to go. When people ask me what we need here for biotech, I always tell them early-stage capital and wet lab space.”
GCU President Brent Richardson told the Business Journal that school representatives have already spoken with officials from Phoenix, Tempe, and Surprise, and that the university is also considering building on its campus at 33rd Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix.
For more information:
“Grand Canyon U. plans wet lab, three Valley cities vie for facility,” Business Journal, 07/14/2006