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[November 14, 2012]

SUNY Downstate to Break Ground for Third Phase of Biotech Incubator, Nov. 15:

Downstate’s Biotech Initiative Is Diversifying the City’s Industrial Base and Providing Educational Programs to Serve the Growing Biotech Industry 

SUNY Downstate Medical Center will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the third phase of its Advanced Biotechnology Incubator on Thursday, November 15, at 2:00 pm.

Located adjacent to Downstate’s main campus in Central Brooklyn, the incubator provides space to start-up and early-stage biotech companies. The current facility is fully occupied. When construction of the third and final phase is completed, it will have more than doubled the size of the incubator, to 50,000 square feet.

To date, $33 million has been raised from city, state, and federal sources to develop the incubator, the first phase of which opened in 2004. Companies that now occupy Downstate’s incubator employ 99 people; the third phase is expected to add 78 high-quality jobs.

Working with physicians at Downstate, BioSignal Group Corp. – one of the 15 incubator tenants – has completed clinical trials of a micro-EEG machine and received Food and Drug Administration approval for the device.

“The Advanced Biotechnology Incubator at SUNY Downstate shows how the public and private sectors can be successful partners in advancing the well-being of the community,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY).

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said, “We are thrilled that our digital startups have Brooklyn going ‘hi-tech’—and thanks to SUNY Downstate and this innovative incubator, we’re also going ‘biotech.’ Bravo to SUNY Downstate and its president, Dr. John Williams, and all of their federal, state and city partners for investing in the SUNY Downstate Advanced Biotechnology Incubator—which my office has been proud to support—and for providing nearly 200 much-needed ‘jobs of today’ and ensuring that New York City remains on the cutting edge of the burgeoning biotech industry in the days to come.”  

“Over the past eight years, SUNY Downstate has established a thriving biotechnology base in Brooklyn. Thanks to the hard work of the Downstate team and the support of public officials, this new phase heralds more jobs and promises future contributions to medical science,” said Downstate President John F. Williams, MD, EdD, MPH, FCCM.

The Advanced Biotechnology Incubator is one of two major projects launched by Downstate to foster the growth of the biotechnology industry in Brooklyn and in New York City. In addition to the incubator, Downstate has partnered with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the SUNY Research Foundation to create BioBAT, Inc., with the goal of establishing the Brooklyn Army Terminal as a site for companies that outgrow the incubator and for more mature biotech companies.

Over $60 million has been raised from city, state, and federal governments to develop the BioBAT project. The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a Downstate Incubator tenant funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, became BioBAT’s anchor tenant in November 2008 when Phase 1 construction was completed (38,000 square feet). The development of an additional 486,000 square feet of biotech space will occur in subsequent phases, with construction of 85,000 square feet currently underway. When completely built out, BioBAT is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.

To help develop the skilled labor force for this growing industry, Downstate has also launched job-training programs in biotechnology. With CUNY’s Hunter College, Downstate developed the Bioscience/Biotechnology Technician Training Program for undergraduate students. Open to science students from any college and conducted at Hunter, the program has trained more than 300 students and has already placed more than 140 trainees in jobs. A program for Downstate graduate students allows them to do a rotation with a biotech company at the incubator or BioBAT and to work towards their PhD or joint MD/PhD degree at a biotech company. Downstate also provides an entrepreneurship program open to everyone on campus. 

Downstate’s Biotech Initiative contributes significantly to New York by diversifying its industrial base and by providing educational programs to serve this growing industry. It also functions as an economic engine for jobs and new technologies and helps bring medical treatments to the marketplace.

Downstate’s Advanced Biotechnology Incubator is located at 760 Parkside Avenue, between Nostrand and New York Avenues

Ditmas Park Patch Article - Photos: SUNY Downstate Breaks Ground on Final Phase of Biotech Incubator .


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.