City OKs investment in community lab

City OKs investment in community lab
One of the founders of Bio, Tech, and Beyond, LLC, Joseph Jackson (at the podium), presents about the community life sciences incubator to City Council as Kathy Dodson (center at the table) looks on at the Jan. 29 meeting. Photo by Rachel Stine

CARLSBAD — At the Jan. 29 meeting, City Council agreed to invest in a community laboratory and life sciences incubator by approving a five-year agreement for Bio, Tech, and Beyond, LLC to lease the city-owned building at 2351 Faraday Ave. for $1 per year. Complete with a life sciences incubator, community lab and science education center, the shared incubator is intended to promote entrepreneurship within Carlsbad, according to city officials and Bio, Tech, and Beyond, LLC representatives.

“Between job creation and public education aspects of this project, there are a lot of benefits for the community,” said Kathy Dodson, the economic development manager for the city.

In addition to offering lab space, the incubator will offer mentorship and assistance for life sciences start-up companies as well as classes for the general public and possibly for local schools and community colleges.

Carlsbad’s new life sciences community lab and incubator will be established within the old Farmer’s Auto Claims building at 2351 Faraday Avenue. Photo by Rachel Stine

By sharing the space and equipment with amateur and professional scientists throughout the county, Bio, Tech, and Beyond LLC will be able to keep the renting costs lower than those of private companies.

“We are going to be the first in Southern California that is going to offer this kind of low-cost shared access to life science biotechnology equipment,” said Joseph Jackson, one of the founders of Bio, Tech, and Beyond, LLC. “It’s really about dropping a barrier to entry and really bringing people together.”

The company aims to have 50 paying members and launch eight start-up companies within the first two years, and the city is investing a considerable amount to achieve these goals.

Aside from the next-to-nothing-rent, the city will also cover the costs of deferred maintenance, pay for utilities for the space for one year, as well as pay for trash removal and landscaping for all five years.

These expenses could add up to a maximum of $56,000 over the course of the lease, according to city estimates.

Bio, Tech, and Beyond, LLC will be responsible for covering the costs of tenant improvements, equipment, salaries, and some operational fees.

The incubator has received letters of support from notable companies including Aquinos Sciences LLC and San Diego Biotechnology Network.

Carlsbad resident Richard Sportsman hopes to utilize the incubator to continue his family business’s work of creating devices that allow vintners to analyze their wine throughout the winemaking process.

He said that the lab would allow his business to expand their innovation with molecular biology and hopefully share their work with other entrepreneurs.

Without the community lab, Sportsman said, “I’d be trying to get equipment and put it in my garage.”

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