Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator
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|Established||1990 - Facility opened Fall 1995|
|University of Florida|
|Budget||$600,000 per year (2014)|
|Director||Mark S. Long|
|Location||Alachua, Florida, United States|
The University of Florida's Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator is located in Alachua, Florida, in Progress Park. The program's mission is to foster the growth of bioscience startup companies that have some relationship to the University. The Incubator works with companies in all product areas relating to the life sciences, biomedical research, medicine, and chemical sciences.
The Sid Martin Biotechnology Development Institute (SMBI) was officially founded on July 2, 1990 by the Florida Legislature. It was named after Sid Martin, a member of the Florida House of Representatives, in recognition of his commitment to the state of Florida and the University of Florida. In 1994, the Trustees at the University of Florida authorized 6 acres (24,000 m2) to build the Sid Martin Biotech Incubator.
The Incubator is 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) and was built with a combination of funding from the University of Florida, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Florida Legislature. The facility was created, engineered, equipped, and opened in 1995 as one of the first bio-business incubators in the United States. Approximate cost at that time was $11.5 million. The facility is located just outside Gainesville, Florida in the Progress Corporate Park. Much of this research park was a product of the vision of former University of Florida President, Robert Q. Marston.
Over 50 biotechnology startups have graduated from SMBI and become self-sufficient companies or were acquired. Among them are:
- Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC)
- Bio Energy LLC
- Celunol (merged with Diversa as Verenium then acquired by BP Biofuels)
- EcoArray Inc.
- EnCor Biotechnology Inc.
- EraGen Biosciences (acquired by Luminex in 2011)
- Integrated Plant Genetics Inc.
- NanoMedex — The company became independent of the Incubator in 2003, but remained located in the Incubator facility. As of 2005[update], the company was involved in reformulation of propofol into a nanoemulsion. Development of the reformulation benefited from a SBIR grant and funding from "a large pharmaceutical company".
- Nanotherapeutics Inc.
- Oragenics Inc.
- Oxthera Inc.
- Sharklet Technologies Inc.
- SunPharm Inc. (acquired by GelTex which was acquired by Genzyme)
- Universal Air Technologies Inc. (acquired by Lennox Industries)
- Xhale Inc., which spun out Hygreen Inc.
Sid Martin Biotech supports a wide range of bioscience companies including clean tech, diagnostic, therapeutic, drug delivery, genomic, bio-medical device, agbio, biofuels, and others. The Incubator can host up to fourteen resident companies at the facility. As of 2016,[update] Sid Martin Biotech companies have attracted more than $1.53 billion in equity investment, contracts, grants, and M&A activity.
EigenChem Technologies is resident in the Incubator but is also a participant in another incubator, ChemCeption, located in the West Virginia Regional Technology Park. EigenChem became involved in ChemCeption as a way to commercialize their emerging technology. As of 2014[update], the company's president was Alexander Oliferenko. Eigenchem spun out another company, AlphaChem Technologies, in 2016 (AlphaChem is now a resident company of Sid Martin).
In 2007, the National Business Incubator Association(NBIA) recognized Sid Martin Biotech with a second place ranking in the Technology category of its annual Incubator of the Year award program. In 2013, the University Business Incubators group (UBI Global) ranked Sid Martin Biotech as "World's Best University Biotech Incubator" among 150 contenders across 22 countries. The same year, 2013, Sid Martin Biotech won the NBIA's "Incubator of the Year" award.
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