Delaware is boosting its commitment to science-sector startups with the General Assembly’s approval to allocate another $10 million to the state’s lab grant program.
The program launched in the fall of 2020 with a $3 million allocation from the Delaware Strategic Fund. It aims to increase the number of ready-to-go lab spaces for private-sector-led projects in order to encourage Delaware-based science startups to stay and grow here, as well as to draw new science companies to the state. Companies are vetted by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) and must be partnered with developers on a specific project to qualify.
A DPP assessment from 2018 to 2019 found that about 12 of 60 Delaware organizations identified a coming need for at least 150,000 additional square feet of lab space.
“The pilot program was a response to increased demand for lab space from early-stage life science and biopharma companies in the region,” said Becky Harrington, DPP’s director of business development, in a statement. “Access to capital can present a barrier to growth as most companies in this phase of growth program are focused on using their resources to get their product to market versus investing in facilities.”
Qualified companies are eligible for grants of up to 33% of the fit-out costs for lab space, with conditions that will ensure that the infrastructure remains intact as lab space to support the continued growth of the industry.
“The lab grant program not only offers needed support for companies to grow their businesses here,” said Noah Olson, DPP’s acting director of innovation, “but it should also build a greater awareness and understanding with landlords, brokers and the real estate community about the distinctive needs of the lab-based science sector.”
For more information, or to apply for a grant, contact Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org.