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Downstate’s Biotechnology Initiative
To foster the development of the biotechnology industry in New York, Dr. Cramer has designed and implemented a comprehensive strategic plan to help address the industry’s most critical needs. The plan includes:
The biotechnology incubator, which is being built in phases within a New York State Empire Zone, adjacent to Downstate will be 50,000 square feet when fully constructed. The first half of the incubator (24,000 square feet) is complete and eleven tenants are leasing space. An RFP for the next phase is expected to be issued in winter 2007. At the incubator, biotech companies have access to an array of academic-based resources (basic and clinical scientists, an extensive medical and scientific library, vivarium, specialized research facilities and equipment, seminars and clinical trials).
As biotech companies grow, they can expand into the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Working with the city and the state, Dr. Cramer has developed a public, private and academic collaboration to establish the Brooklyn Army Terminal as the first site for biotech expansion and manufacturing in NYC. It is a gated, secure (24/7), 4,000,000 square foot complex located on a 97-acre riverfront campus across the river from Manhattan. The site, which is accessible by all New York City medical and research institutions, is very adaptable for biotech needs and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), is the anchor tenant.
To facilitate this biotech initiative, Downstate together with the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation has formed the Brooklyn Biotechnology Consortium. To insure an appropriate labor force, job-training programs in biotechnology have been initiated for graduate students (at Downstate and with Polytechnic University in bioengineering) and for technicians.
This initiative was highlighted in various publications, including the New York Times, Crain’s New York Business, Newsday, the New York Daily News, the Scientist, and American Biotechnology Laboratory, as well as. the “2004 Report from the New York State Comptroller’s Office on Brooklyn: Economic Development and the State of its Economy.” Consuls and legislators from various European countries (Great Britain, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, and Spain), as well as Deans from European universities (Finland, Russia) have visited the incubator.