Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. has outlined the first phase of several initiatives in the heart of Research Triangle Park (RTP) to foster science, technology and agricultural collaboration and innovation in this important cluster, the company has announced in a news release.
These innovation-focused initiatives include the amenity-rich Alexandria Center for Science, Technology and Agriculture – RTP, a first-of-its-kind campus in the RTP area, at 6 Davis Dr., which will capitalize on RTP’s heritage of and potential for continued discovery, collaboration and commercialization of transformational products to better humankind, the news release said. “The Alexandria campus fills an important need in RTP for critical infrastructure, sophisticated investment capital and creative amenities while creating a vibrant community anchored by a hub for the intersection of science, technology and agriculture,” the announcement said.
The Alexandria campus, over time, will have more than one million rentable square feet.
The first phase features space for emerging companies, called Alexandria LaunchLabs, in a building already on the site that is being renovated, The Raleigh News & Observer has reported. That space, which is targeted to open in the spring, is expected to be between 40,000 and 50,000 sq. ft., Alexander’s CEO and founder Joel Marcus says.
Next, the developer plans to build two new buildings — an office and laboratory structure expected to be 100,000 sq. ft. or more, and a smaller building of about 40,000 sq. ft., which will include greenhouse space.
Alexandria Venture Investments, the strategic venture capital arm of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., intends to invest in MedBlue Incubator, Inc. MedBlue was founded in 2013 to help identify promising new science and technology from the departments of surgery, pathology and anesthesiology at the Duke University Medical Center, around which cutting-edge new companies may be formed to create breakthrough products for patients and bring value to the university.
MedBlue has already invested in four companies centered on advancements originating from the Duke University departments.
Alexandria is also opening Alexandria LaunchLabs, a unique real estate and startup ecosystem concept, on the Alexandria campus, the company said. The Alexandria LaunchLabs concept was originally created in Maryland by a consortium of world-class partners to fill a specific unmet need in the market for emerging-stage companies.
RTP has a large unmet need for small, flexible office and laboratory suites that also provide support services for emerging-stage companies. Alexandria Venture Investments and Accelerator Corporation, a biotechnology investment and management company, plan to establish a venture investment and technology scouting presence within Alexandria LaunchLabs in RTP. Alexandria LaunchLabs adds specialized office and laboratory space, increased access to support resources, shared scientific equipment and services and immediately available capital, all of which are critical for dramatically accelerating the growth of local emerging-stage companies in the RTP area, the news release says.
“We are delighted to collaborate with MedBlue and Duke as part of this first phase of our plans for expanding and supporting the important, transformative science, technology and agricultural innovation in RTP,” Alexander CEO Marcus said. “The Triangle has a long history of launching exceptional companies in these sectors, and our rich history of creating and growing premier clusters make this effort highly synergistic. We are excited to bring Alexandria LaunchLabs to RTP to fill an unmet need for access to more resources for emerging-stage companies.”
“Additionally, co-location with other emerging-stage companies – MedBlue, Alexandria Venture Investments and Accelerator Corporation – will provide a collaborative ecosystem in which tenants will be able to further assist one another in identifying resources and sharing best practices,” he said in a statement. “With RTP’s excellent academic and medical institutions, venture capital support and entrepreneurial ideas, these initiatives are only the beginning of the opportunities to further facilitate and support life-changing innovation in this important cluster.”