The S.C. Research Authority plans to open the Charleston Innovation Center, a biotech incubator in downtown Charleston to be used for biomedical and biopharmaceutical research by MUSC.
From the Charleston Regional Business Journal:
“We’ve got a pretty good pipeline of companies that would be located in the building and are ready to get going,” (SCRA President Bill) Mahoney said.
“The primary objective is better patient care, but if we can commercialize some of those discoveries, then everybody wins,” he said. “This is the very early stages of commercialization. This is the germination state, the very, very early stages of the companies.”
The center will be located at 645 Meeting St., near the Ravenel Bridge. The city of Charleston agreed to lease the building to the SCRA at a rate of $1 a year for 30 years, though City Council still has to approve the lease. The refurbishment of the building is expect to cost around $5 million.
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The Business Journal also reported the mayor's take on the plans: “It’s really hard to overstate the importance of this,” said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley. “That part of town has a terrific future and obviously to have a biotech incubator right in the heart of it is great for that area.”
The whole thing is part of the Research Division and Innovation Centers Act, passed by the legislature in 2005. Officials hope to open the center in fall 2009, assuming City Council approves the lease.