U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced yesterday that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.3M grant to the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) to support the development of wet lab space and clean room in the Information Technology Center at The Beach at UNO.
This EDA project, to be matched with $370K in local funds, is expected to create 39 jobs, retain 19 jobs, and generate $5.1M in private investment.
“President Biden is committed to ensuring that our communities are provided with the resources they need to diversify and grow their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in the New Orleans Business Alliance will create laboratory space to support growing biotech companies in the region, attracting new businesses and creating a diverse, resilient regional economy.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Regional Planning Commission’s Southeast Development District (RPC). EDA funds RPC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs. The New Orleans Business Alliance and The Beach at UNO teamed up to submit this successful joint application.
“I am gratified that the Biden Administration has chosen this important project for funding,” said Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02). “Growing our region’s economy is one of my top priorities in Congress, and I look forward to continuing to partner with groups like the New Orleans Business Alliance to secure federal funding to do so.”
“This is a huge win and example of NOLABA’s impact within our rapidly-growing bio innovation industry," said Interim President & CEO of NOLABA Norman E. Barnum, IV. "This project is a beautiful collaboration with one of our city’s strongest innovation assets – The Beach at UNO. The effects of this grant are forward-thinking and lay a foundation for an innovation cluster at The Beach, which benefits not only our academic and biotech communities but all facets of our New Orleans economy. We're incredibly grateful to the EDA for this generous investment in our city and look forward to getting to work on this transformational project."
“The UNO Research and Technology Foundation is thrilled to partner with the New Orleans Business Alliance in support of New Orleans’ growing biotechnology ecosystem,”said Rebecca Conwell, President and CEO of The Beach at UNO. “This grant will fund the creation of a much-needed asset, and The Beach at UNO - a premier research and technology park - will provide a strong supportive environment for our new tenants and the operation of the new GMP facility in partnership with the University of New Orleans.”
“NOLABA has exemplified a continued investment and focus toward supporting the growth of our local bio-industry, and this grant is a testament to that work. The construction of wet labs available to the public for highly competitive rates, when compared to traditional bio hubs around the country, will further solidify our standing as a desirable U.S. innovation destination. This grant not only completes the missing piece of the city's bio ecosystem rooted in its long-standing academic institutions, but could also not have come at a better time as New Orleans continues its economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The creation of physical spaces designed for quality job-creating companies to stay and grow here is an economic catalyst for our local community and the University of New Orleans," said NOLABA's Vice President of Bio, Innovation, and Special Projects, Jeanette Weiland.