Governor Glenn Youngkin announced more than $66 million in state grants for four projects within the Biotechnology, Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Cluster. These projects provide job creation, wage expansion, and broader economic growth throughout the Commonwealth.
“In order to make Virginia a leader in biotechnology, life sciences and pharmaceutical manufacturing, we have to accelerate our growth and create a best-in-class business environment for this industry,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Each of these projects will bring jobs and opportunity across the Commonwealth and further our position as a national leader in these business sectors. This project is an important step to improving economic opportunity in Petersburg, which has been a core goal of my administration.”
“Life Sciences are a critical sector for Virginia and a strategic target for growth in the Governor’s “Compete to Win” Agenda for Economic Development,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “More than 150,000 Virginians are employed in the Life Sciences industry, and these new investments will spur additional growth and secure the Commonwealth’s leadership position in these sectors.”
Virginia’s life sciences industry spans the entire value chain – from academic research to commercialization, manufacturing, and distribution. Virginia is home to more than 300 life sciences companies and has nearly five million square feet of laboratory space.
During the 2022 Special Session of the Virginia General Assembly, funding was approved for biotechnology-related projects throughout the Commonwealth. This funding is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), in partnership with the State Council of Higher Education and a task force comprised of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority, Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority, Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity Board, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and staff directors of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations.
The University of Virginia’s Institute for Biotechnology will receive $36 million to accelerate genomics/gene therapies and drug delivery technologies through incentives designed to attract 150 research scientists. Research scientists will be operating out of a new state-of-the-art facility that will serve as a research and translational therapies facility which includes a dedicated 30,000-square-foot area for biomanufacturing.
The city of Roanoke will receive $15.7 million to create an advanced laboratory-incubator to develop new biotechnology companies across southwestern Virginia. This project includes partnerships with the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council, Virginia Western Community College and Carilion Clinic and provides a hub for Johnson and Johnson Innovations.
The Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority will receive $15 million to support the construction of a life sciences lab building in the Virginia Biotech Park and to develop end-to-end manufacturing capabilities advancing the pharmaceutical manufacturing cluster in the Greater Richmond-Petersburg region. Project partners include the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering’s Medicine’s for All Institute and the Alliance for Better Medicine.