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[July 2, 2010]

BioBAT at the Brooklyn Army Terminal Gets Boost from Commerce Department Investment:
EDA Grant to Renovate Facility for Biotechnology at Brooklyn Army Terminal

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Brian McGowan recently announced a $2.5 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to BioBAT, Inc., to renovate a portion of Building A in the Brooklyn Army Terminal for use by mid-stage and growing biotechnology firms.

“Research and development in the biotechnology sector is critical to our nation’s economic competitiveness,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary McGowan while announcing the award at a meeting at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.  “This funding will create new jobs and boost private investment in New York by providing affordable space for start-up biotechnology firms developing new technologies and products for the market.”
“Renovating more space in the Brooklyn Army Terminal for biotechnology will provide our borough’s innovators with a place to expand their ventures, hire new workers, and turn their ideas into reality,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “With new technologies revolutionizing the way we do business, the BioBAT project will attract high-tech small firms to modernize Brooklyn’s economy and help our City prosper.”
 “This funding will help strengthen New York’s competitive edge in the field of biotechnology, generate much-needed jobs, and encourage the growth of local manufacturing and small businesses,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). “Especially now, during the ongoing recession, it is extremely important to invest in dynamic new industries and create local jobs. I commend EDA for making an investment that will bolster our regional economy.”
Brooklyn has the second highest poverty rate in New York City, after the Bronx,” said John C. LaRosa, MD, president of SUNY Downstate Medical Center and vice-chairman of BioBAT’s Board of Directors.  “The BioBAT project will create high paying jobs in a borough that very much needs them. This project is part of a citywide solution to harness biotechnology and create a new economy based on innovation. We are very appreciative of the EDA’s grant.”   

 “The development of new, commercial laboratory space for emerging biotechnology firms is essential to the growth of this sector in New York City and in Brooklyn.” said Seth W. Pinsky, president of New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and chairman of BioBAT’s Board of Directors. “The City has more than 1.5 million-square-feet of commercial laboratory space currently in the pipeline, and this grant will help us reach that capacity.  By investing in the necessary infrastructure, we are able to attract additional private investment and capture a greater share of the companies that spin out of our academic research institutions.”
In November 2008 the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative became the anchor tenant at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Its AIDS Vaccine Design and Development Laboratory occupies 38,000 square feet of space. The EDA grant will be used toward the development of the next phase and will include the construction of modular wet lab space, office space, and necessary support systems, including HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. 
Also attending the grant announcement were Willie C. Taylor, regional director, U.S. EDA; Calvin Edghill, economic development specialist, U. S. EDA; Cleve Mesidor, director of public affairs, U.S. EDA; Maya Kremen, representing Rep. Nadler; Daniel Wiley, representing Rep. Velazquez; Andrew Steininger, representing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz; Eva Cramer, PhD, vice president for biotechnology and scientific affairs, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and president of BioBAT; Chris Leng Smith, vice resident of NYCEDC and vice president of BioBAT; Ivan Lisnitzer, PE, executive vice president and chief operating officer, SUNY Downstate, and treasurer of BioBAT; Joan Bartolomeo, president, Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation; Carl Hum, president, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; Maria Gotsch, president and CEO, New York City Investment Fund; and Lenzie Harcum, director, Bioscience Team Center for Economic Transformation, NYCEDC.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov):
This year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) marks 45 years of public service, with a mission of leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster job creation, collaboration, and innovation.

About SUNY Downstate and the BioBAT initiative (www.downstate.edu)
The Brooklyn Army Terminal is a 97-acre Cass Gilbert-designed facility on the Brooklyn waterfront, owned by New York City and managed by the NYC Economic Development Corporation. BioBAT, Inc., a nonprofit corporation made up of the Research Foundation of the State University of New York on behalf of SUNY Downstate Medical Center and NYCEDC, was established to foster the development of commercial bioscience research, development, and manufacturing space in Brooklyn. In addition to today’s $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, New York City has invested $12.5 million, and State Senator Martin Golden, working with SUNY Downstate and the City, secured an additional $42 million in State funding to facilitate the project.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate for the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find them on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.
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SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.
SUNY Downstate ranks eighth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools.  More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.
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