Prince William County is home to one of the fastest-growing biotechnology clusters in the Greater Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. At the epicenter of this burgeoning growth is Innovation Park, which is anchored by the George Mason University (Mason) Science and Technology Campus, making it Northern Virginia’s only university-centered research campus. The Park houses a number of businesses and institutions in the industry including ATCC, Corning-Media Tech, NIH/Mason Biomedical Research Labs (BSL-2 & BSL-3) and more.
To describe a few main players, American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) a biological resource and research center that preserves and distributes cultures to the international scientific community. Its 126,000 square foot headquarters includes an 18,000 square foot repository and 35,000 square feet of lab space. Nearby in Innovation Park, Mediatech – A Corning Life Science Company employs 200 people manufacturing sterile solutions ranging from cell culture media to molecular biology reagents.
Mason’s Science and Technology Campus is home to over 4,000 students pursuing graduate and undergraduate degrees. The campus includes the world-class research housed at the Institute for Biomedical Innovation, a 75,000-square-foot research facility with CAP/CLIA Compliant Clinical Proteomics Laboratory, the first in the USA dedicated to proteomics translational research. Growing companies are encouraged to partner with Mason’s Protein Microarray and Molecular Characterization Laboratory, Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Nanofabrication Laboratory and the Biochemistry Laboratories.
Another key player in the growing life science industry is Mason’s Biomedical Research Lab, which was constructed with support from NIH. These high security labs (BSL-2 & 3, with aerosol chambers) play a critical role in advancing research related to infectious diseases. The Lab’s $50 million 52,000 square foot facility is located adjacent to Mason and the research team is dedicated to translational research and commercialization opportunities with public, private and non-profit sector partners.
Prince William County companies hire talented technicians from Mason and Northern Virginia Community College’s (NOVA) Biotechnology program where students pursue degrees and accreditations. The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Biotechnology and the Biotechnology Lab Technician Career Studies Certificate are both designed for persons wishing to enhance their employment options or retrain for a career as a laboratory technician in various biotechnology disciplines.
Prince William County Schools’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) capabilities are further enhanced though special programs; such as NOVA’s STEM Initiative and SySTEMic Solutions; the Sparks Foundation; and the Micron Foundation.
Major medical networks serving the County include Sentara and Novant. Close proximity to these two world-class leading hospitals and medical centers provide opportunities for research collaboration and access to medical resources for life science researchers.
Available Wet Lab Facilities
Situated in Innovation Park, the Prince William Science Accelerator was created to provide the catalyst for faster growth and commercialization of life sciences, delivering an innovative, intellectual environment by offering readily available wet lab space, equipment and industry networks. Current occupants of the Accelerator include:
- IsoThrive (www.isothrive.com) – Developing a nutritional supplement to feed the microbiome.
- Ceres Nano (www.ceresnano.com) – Producing “nanotrap” technology with applications in diagnostics, devices and research.
- Virongy (www.virongy.com) – Provides virological reagents and tools to support research and clinical investigation.
- Systaaq Diagnostic Products Inc. (www.systaaq.com/) – Develops and delivers molecular diagnostic test solutions.
- Celetrix (www.celetrix.com/) – Commercializes new types of high efficiency electroporators.
- Serpin Pharma (www.serpinpharma.com/) – Develops anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating drugs for treatment of a broad range of inflammatory, autoimmune and infectious diseases.
- ApoH Technologies (www.apohtech.com) – Develops sample pretreatment solutions to enhance the detection of infectious agents.
Prince William County is a true business partner and offers many life science companies location incentives such as:
- Governor’s Opportunity Fund
- County Economic Development Opportunity Fund
- Refundable R&D Tax Credits
- 100% Sales Tax Exemption for R&D Equipment
- SBIR Matching Grants through the Commonwealth
- Angel Investor Tax Credits
- Commonwealth Research and Commercialization Fund
- Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation Matching Funds