The CvilleBioHub has been awarded over $80,000 from the GO Virginia initiative to expand and sustain the life sciences ecosystem in the region. The grant will enable the two-year-old organization to develop a long-term strategic plan to increase the number of local biotechnology companies, attract top executive and scientific talent to existing companies and engage with stakeholders to increase awareness of opportunities in the region.
The Charlottesville area is home to more than 50 life sciences organizations employing more than 1,500 people engaged in developing therapeutics, diagnostics, devices, and other products and services to improve human health. Local industry has attracted more than $118 million in investments, generating about $17 million in revenue in 2016 and over $4 million raised in competitive grant funding in the last five years.
“Given the innovation coming out of UVA and the robust sources of angel investment in the Charlottesville area, it is no surprise that we have the highest concentration of life sciences organizations in Virginia,” says Martin Chapman, chair of the CvilleBioHub and founder of Indoor Biotechnologies. “We are poised to become an incredible economic engine for the community. And this investment by the state and our local matching sponsors will enable the BioHub to help our industry move from organic growth to transformative impact.”
CvilleBioHub’s long-term vision is to support workforce development, encourage facilities and infrastructure expansion, and leverage regional purchasing power to enhance the region’s capacity to grow and sustain an integrated network of biotechnology firms within GO Virginia Region 9, which includes the City of Charlottesville; and the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, and Rappahannock. CvilleBioHub will leverage the GO Virginia funds to hire a full-time Project Manager to grow and expand the organization.
“The life sciences industry creates high paying quality jobs with the broader economic impact that we want to see nurtured in the Commonwealth,” says Tom Click, Chairof the GO Virginia Region 9 Council and President of Patriot Industries. “Given the great foundation established by the BioHub, the Council thought it was an easy decision to invest state resources to help Charlottesville and the region strategically grow this important industry.”
In addition to the state funding, the Charlottesville Economic Development Authority will provide $10,000 of local matching funds in support of the project. “CvilleBioHub’s well-conceived plan to help further grow the life sciences cluster here in Charlottesville is the perfect first GO Virginia project for the authority to support,” according to Chris Engel, director of economic development for the city. “We hope this funding model combined with private sector initiative is a roadmap for future projects.”
The CvilleBioHub (www.cvillebiohub.org) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2016 to provide pathways for growth for the many biotechnology and life-science companies in the greater Charlottesville area and to promote the region as a center for this dynamic industry. The Hub was founded by local industry veterans Martin Chapman, Taylor Cope, Nikki Hastings, and Susan Klees.
About GO Virginia
GO Virginia is an economic development initiative led by Virginia’s business leaders to foster private-sector growth and job creation through state incentives for regional collaboration among business, education, and government. The initiative was created in 2017 and has funded more than $6,000,000 in grants to organizations across the Commonwealth. The Central Virginia Partnership hosts the Council for Region 9, which has $1 million for collaborative opportunities in the year ahead. For details, please see www.GOVirginia9.org.