The Georgia Health Sciences University (MCG) has a genuine interest in, and a commitment to, economic development in Augusta and the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). It recently created an Office of Technology Transfer & Economic Development, and then encouraged that office to create a business incubator in the newest research building on MCG campus.
The incubator, known as the Life Sciences Business Development Center (LSBDC), occupies most of the second floor in the Interdisciplinary Research Building (Phase II) located on Laney-Walker boulevard just south of 15th street. It has approximately 16,000 gross square feet of space that accommodate the incubator and the technology transfer offices.
The LSBDC is managed by the MCG Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development, a unit reporting to the Vice President for Research, Frank Treiber, PhD. The space itself is master-leased and administered by the MCG Research Institute, a not-for-profit support organization chaired by MCG President Daniel Rahn and Directed by Associate V.P. Betty Aldridge.
An Advisory Board provides overall guidance and policies. It is staffed by approximately 20 business leaders, scientists and administrators who provide advice and assistance on policies for running the incubator. There also is a Board of Business Counselors who volunteer to assist the tenant companies as they cope with the challenges of growing a business.
The incubator houses 5 entrepreneurial businesses in the life sciences, which can range from bioinformatics and genomics to medical devices and diagnostics. Each of the entrepreneurial suites consists of 1,130 sq. ft., with one large wet lab, a separate clean room or culture room, and two offices. Each room has all of the basic benches, sinks, desks, tables, chairs, storage shelves, and file cabinets to enable the company to begin work almost immediately without major capital outlays.
Major scientific equipment is included as well. The labs are fully outfitted with laminar flow hoods, incubators, refrigerators, freezers, centrifuges, waterbaths, etc., thanks to the generous support of the Georgia Medical Center Authority and a grant form the OneGeorgia Authority. There also are shared rooms and spaces with autoclaves, a darkroom, a walk-in cold room, break room, and multiple conference rooms. The location of the incubator in the center of the campus affords easy access to the MCG Core Laboratories, service units that offer state-of-the-art scientific equipment and expertise for a modest user fee.
Overall, we feel that this environment, the opportunities and the capabilities it offers will ensure the success of the new entrepreneur and the company.