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Mayor Adams, NYCEDC Announce New Center for Sustainability-Focused Biotech to Open at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

March 3, 2023

$20 Million Investment Will Create High-Quality, Long-Term Jobs and Establish New York City as Global Leader in Leading-Edge Industry

Incubator Will Cultivate Growing Life Sciences and Biotechnology Industries at Yard

New York - New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation today announced that the city will open a first-in-the-nation $20 million center for sustainability-focused biotech in Building 303 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in partnership with Newlab, the Partnership Fund for New York City, and Empire State Development. The 50,000-square-foot innovation space is expected to open in 2025 and advances Mayor Adams' efforts to make New York City the global center of sustainable technology by leveraging the city's growing life sciences and biotechnology industries.

This will be the first commercial hub for sustainable biotechnology in the United States and will help position New York City as the nation's leading life sciences market, while also producing new technologies that will help address climate change and advance the city's carbon neutrality goals. The center will receive a $20 million investment as part of the city's LifeSci NYC initiative. It will create more than 400 high-quality jobs and support a new generation of scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs through office space, research laboratories, and events and programming space.

"The way to create the jobs of the future is by supporting companies solving some of the most pressing challenges of our time, like climate change and carbon emissions," said Mayor Adams. "These companies are not only making our city and planet more sustainable, they are providing career opportunities for working New Yorkers. This is the future, and it's happening right here in New York City."

"This project is another powerful example of government seeding and supporting the expansion of high-growth sectors of the economy, like life sciences," said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. "I am particularly excited about today's announcement because it shows once again that the Brooklyn Navy Yard is an engine of innovation for New York City, and it demonstrates that when we work together, we can find ways to create jobs, stimulate the economy, accelerate small business growth, and address some of the most challenging issues of our time, climate change top among them."

"A first-of-its-kind incubator, this new life science hub will not only provide the resources sustainably-minded companies need to advance their work in food tech, fashion or building materials, and more, but it will also create jobs for New Yorkers and position our city as a leader in developing the solutions that will help protect our planet in the long term and ensuring those solutions come from diverse communities across New York City," said Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation President & CEO Lindsay Greene. "With a growing number of life science clusters and an ecosystem of businesses at the cutting-edge of their fields, the Navy Yard's Building 303 is the perfect location to advance this type of innovation. We are grateful to Mayor Adams for his leadership in this space and look forward to welcoming the visionary scientists and entrepreneurs that represent the future of the sector."

"This game-changing industry will use the power of biology to create the sustainable materials, products, and industries of the future while accelerating New York's transition to a green economy," said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball. "There is no better location for this biotech innovation space than at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is already home to innovation-driven life sciences companies and has proven to be a driving force in the biotech industry. NYCEDC is proud to work alongside Mayor Adams, our partners at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Newlab, as New York City cements itself as a global leader and first-mover in this space."

The Brooklyn Navy Yard is already home to a thriving life sciences industry, with a wide range of businesses pioneering new practices in sustainable biology. To mark this historic investment, Mayor Adams visited the following life science businesses today at the Navy Yard:

  • Kintra Fibers, a materials science company creating bio-synthetic resin and yarns for the fashion industry.
  • Next Step Labs, a Black-owned company focused on the development of cosmetic and personal care products using primarily natural ingredients and formulations.
  • TomTex, a company developing a high-performance material out of seashell and mushroom waste that is a plastic-free and 100 percent naturally biodegradable alternative to synthetic and animal leathers.

"This new center for sustainability-focused biotech, made possible by Mayor Adams' and the NYCEDC's investment, will serve as a leading hub for the nontherapeutic life sciences sector, bringing together emerging companies working to address the urgent and changing needs of our world," Satish Rao, chief product officer, Newlab. "Newlab is thrilled to build upon New York City's climate goals, while continuing to position the city as a dynamic ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation, and there is no better place to see this vision through than the Brooklyn Navy Yard."

"ESD is proud to work with Mayor Adams and NYCEDC to strengthen New York City's life sciences industry," said Hope Knight, president, CEO and commissioner, Empire State Development. "Today's announcement is a catalyst for even more innovation and an important investment to stimulate the regional economy and create the jobs of tomorrow."

"This new center is an important project that will position New York City as a leader in biology as a core technology driving innovation not only in medicine and health care but also in consumer and industrial use cases," said Maria Gotsch, president and CEO, Partnership Fund for New York City. "City and State funding have been integral to the rapid growth and success of life sciences in New York. This investment will be an added boon to the Brooklyn Navy Yard's innovative manufacturing ecosystem and New York City's robust biotech sector, creating jobs and ensuring that companies pioneering new sustainability solutions have a place to expand and scale their businesses."

As an additional part of this effort, NYCEDC is actively seeking a location and operator for a Materials Innovation Hub, which will focus on early-stage companies and research and development, bringing new materials from lab to market. Advancing innovation in materials has the potential to revolutionize key industries that drive the city's economy, from fashion and construction to plastics and health care.

These investments also deliver on commitments made in Mayor Adams' "Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City's Economic Recovery," where he highlighted the importance of life sciences and outlined an expansion into three new areas:

  • Med-tech – developing new tools for medical diagnosis, monitoring and treatment;
  • Bioengineering – applying engineering principles to life sciences product development; and
  • Planetary health – using lab-based innovations to address climate change.

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