The University of California, Riverside, has received a $2.5 million grant from the Economic Development Administration, or EDA, to acquire equipment for use in the first wet lab incubator in the Inland Empire. Funding will be matched with $2.5 million of State of California grants and internal UC Riverside funds.
The incubator will provide Inland Empire life sciences entrepreneurs, who currently must seek laboratories in the Los Angeles, Orange County, or San Diego areas to advance their discoveries, with local wet lab space and commercialization guidance from experts on life sciences startups.
“The research coming out of UC Riverside and the Inland Empire region is top notch,” said Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox. “With the wet lab incubator, we support our entrepreneurs with local laboratory facilities and expert mentoring to grow their companies.”
The new incubator will accommodate approximately 15 job-creating startup companies from UC Riverside and throughout the Inland Empire. Securing the grant was a collaborative effort between the city of Riverside, Riverside County, the UC Riverside Office of Technology Partnerships, and the UC Riverside Center for Economic Development and Innovation.
“A wet lab incubator in our region will be an important catalyst in the growth of local life science and agriculture biotech firms that will generate long-term multiplier jobs in our community,” said Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey.
The wet lab incubator, located in the heart of the UC Riverside campus on the first floor of the Multidisciplinary Research Building, will house regional companies in the life sciences, agricultural biotechnology, and medical technologies.
Incubator residents will have access to core laboratory, specialized equipment facilities, and research areas in the building. The space was designed to maximize collaboration between incubator startups and UC Riverside researchers elsewhere in the building.
Programmatic support, mentoring, and access to capital for incubator residents will be provided by UC Riverside Entrepreneurial Proof of Concept and Innovation Center Small Business Development Center, or EPIC SBDC, a UC Riverside-led program created in partnership with the county of Riverside and the Small Business Administration.
EPIC’s entrepreneurs-in-residence with expertise in agriculture, life sciences, and business, will offer specialized commercialization assistance to entrepreneurs. Incubator residents will also have access to help from UC Riverside’s SBIR/STTR support center to obtain federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants.
“We are delighted to see the wet lab incubator support our county’s startups to help us build a resilient and knowledge-based economy in our region,” said Rob Field, assistant county executive officer/economic and community development.
Header photo: Interior of the Multidisciplinary Research Building (UCR/Stan Lim)