Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bioscience Authority nears decision on funding for incubator facility

Authority weighs $4M investment in Lawrence facility

This artist’s rendering shows the proposed Lawrence Regional Life Sciences Incubator. The Kansas Bioscience Authority will decide early next year whether to invest in the facility, which would be on the Kansas University West Campus. Becker Drive is shown in the foreground.

This artist’s rendering shows the proposed Lawrence Regional Life Sciences Incubator. The Kansas Bioscience Authority will decide early next year whether to invest in the facility, which would be on the Kansas University West Campus. Becker Drive is shown in the foreground.

December 9, 2008

Advertisement

In the next two months, the fate of a proposed $8 million facility to house promising start-up technology companies in Lawrence should be decided.

The Kansas Bioscience Authority is expected to decide soon whether to invest about $4 million into the proposed incubator that would be built on Kansas University’s West Campus. At a meeting Tuesday of area bioscience stakeholders, the leader of the KBA stopped short of endorsing the project but said it was being given a serious look.

“We’re evaluating now whether it is something that the KBA will invest in,” Tom Thornton, president and CEO of the authority told a crowd of Lawrence bioscience leaders at a Kansas University event. “What we like about it is that KU is on board and the community is on board.”

City and county commissioners, along with KU and the Lawrence-Douglas County Bioscience Authority already have agreed to provide $4 million in funding for the incubator facility, which would be built on KU West Campus.

But the KBA funding is critical for the project to move forward. Matthew McClorey, president and CEO of the Lawrence Regional Technology Center, said he’s optimistic the project will get the necessary approvals. The facility would provide laboratory and office space for start-up companies that take Kansas University research and turn it into commercial products.

“We think this is a very important part of our effort to grow bioscience jobs in the community,” said McClorey, whose organization would run the center. “We don’t want Lawrence just to be an engine for innovation and research. We also want to keep some of those companies that use the research here in Lawrence.”

About 65 people on Tuesday attended a bioscience stakeholders event at the Lied Center sponsored by KU and the authority. In addition to the incubator project, Thornton alerted the crowd to the likelihood of the Kansas Legislature discussing during these tough economic times whether to tap into some of the funding set aside for the authority.

“I’m sure there will be action to come after KBA funding,” Thornton said. “We’ll see how that comes out. But I would say to pull back from this effort now would be shortsighted.”

Comments

logrithmic 5 years, 4 months ago

The question remains - payoff for whom? The whole notion of trickle down has been throughly discredited. Tax dollars funding private corporations is simply stupid. What guarantees do citizens have that the companies seeded by these grants won't move to some other locale that offers them a better tax package? Zero, zip, nada.Investment for private reward should come from private dollars. The taxpayer simply should not be involved in picking winners and losers or propping up industries, etc.

0

bobberboy 5 years, 4 months ago

On the KU campus ! I'll bet that means highly skilled low paying jobs. Log, their won't be any tips from these guys because they usually make less than waiters.

0

nobody1793 5 years, 4 months ago

You'd be surprised how many fledgling businesses could benefit from this project. Even if the majority of the start-ups ultimately fail, it only takes one or two big successes to make this kind of investment pay off.

0

logrithmic 5 years, 4 months ago

Ah, yes, your tax dollars at work. And who benefits from this funding? The article doesn't say, but you can bet your bippy it's probably some well-heeled Wettig-types. And of course, what does it mean for you, the little guy? Nothing much - really. Maybe a tip or two....

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.