Exciting things are happening at Innovation Park in Manassas. Researchers are working on global solutions, industry jobs are on the rise, and new facilities are being developed – and wait, there’s more!
“Companies are seeing really big wins across the state and the region and the life science industry is only going uphill from here,” said Amy Adams, Executive Director for the Institute for Biohealth Innovation at George Mason University (GMU).
The upward trajectory is attributed to Prince William County’s tremendous investment in the life science community. Ten years ago, the county launched the Prince William Science Accelerator, a premiere life science incubation facility that fosters growth for small and mid-sized startups. The county is now expanding its life science footprint with the development of the Northern Virginia Bioscience Center.
“The investment of Prince William County in this lab space has been tremendous for helping to grow and strengthen this ecosystem,” said Adams. The 30,000 square-foot commercial wet lab facility will provide the space for companies to grow.
Innovation Park is home to GMU’s Science and Technology campus, the Prince William Science Accelerator and a cluster of biotech companies. The synergy between these institutions fosters an environment that Adams described as supportive, collaborative and innovative.
“The companies at Innovation Park as well as the scientists at the University are working together to address many different challenges,” Adams said. “Ceres Nanosciences, which licenses technology from the university, worked early on with our researchers to acquire a strain of COVID-19 from the CDC to test in one of our facilities.”
Looking through another lens, is Dr. Lance Liotta and the team from the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine. According to Adams, they have developed a saliva-based COVID –19 diagnostic test, that has received EUA authorization from the FDA for distribution.
And that only scratches the surface.
Researchers at GMU are working on personalized cancer therapy, prosthetics, health disparities, drug discovery – to name a few.
“Prince William County, George Mason, Virginia Bio and others across the state were just part of a $3 million grant to connect all regions across the state as well as provide a statewide connectivity to better foster new partnerships but also share resources and ideas.”
Companies looking to join Northern Virginia’s bioscience industry will find a wealth of opportunities and a healthy work-life balance.
“There are jobs, there is space and a critical mass of people that want to work together,” said Adams. “With the FDA, NIH, DOD and other federal agencies in our backyard, the BioHealth Capital Region, Virginia and Prince William County are a great the place to be.”