The Columbia Life Sciences Incubator received a boost Tuesday as community and state leaders met to track the project’s progress and explore its potential for paving the road to further economic and entrepreneurial development in mid-Missouri.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce David Sampson was joined by Sen. Kit Bond, U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof and UM system President Elson Floyd at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon was one of three stops in Columbia, Mexico and St. Louis, during which Sampson presented Economic Development Administration investment checks.
Bond announced a $60,000 grant from the Missouri Biotechnology Association, and a grant to MU for $130,000 per year for three years from the University Center under the EDA.
MU was one of 38 universities that competed for the University Center awards to be used to support economic development outreach work. MU was granted one of six such awards and was recognized as having activities specific to economic development within mid-Missouri.
Initially, the project is expected to cost $7.9 million, $1.63 million of which has already been raised. If the project receives an additional $2.5 million expected from the EDA, it will still need to raise $3.77 million.
The university has already pledged $1 million to the project and five surrounding counties have accepted a challenge to raise an additional $1 million to become part of what Bond hopes will be an Interstate 70 life sciences corridor.
The Life Sciences business incubator is intended to focus on creating a “technology cluster with a strong regional theme,” Project Director Jake Halliday said. “We’re excited about our potential as a region.”