Governor Cuomo Announces Opening of the Final Phase of SUNY Downstate's Biotechnology Business Incubator in Brooklyn

December 16, 2015

From the Office of Governor Cuomo

New Facility Eligible To Host START-UP NY Tax-Free Areas For New And Expanding Businesses

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the final phase of SUNY Downstate Medical Center's Biotechnology Incubator at 760 Parkside Avenue in Brooklyn. The 26,000-square-foot addition will double the size of the current facility and open its doors to even more early-stage biotech-related companies than the 20 already located there.

"The innovative technologies being developed at SUNY Downstate's Biotechnology Incubator will improve people's lives across the globe, while bringing good jobs to Central Brooklyn," Governor Cuomo said. "The SUNY system and its students are some of New York's greatest assets, and by teaming up with them through Start-UP NY, companies can tap into a diverse and talented workforce eager to make its mark."

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, "The biotech industry continues to flourish here in Brooklyn, and in no small part due to the economic incentives and resources provided through New York State's SUNY campuses. Home to some of the best cutting-edge research and development anywhere in the country, SUNY Downtown Medical Center, which also serves as a START-UP NY zone, is well positioned to become a leader in this field of innovation. On behalf of Governor Cuomo, I’m here to promote these initiatives to attract the entrepreneurs and businesses, as well as the high-paying jobs that follow."

Businesses at the incubator have access to a wide range of SUNY Downstate resources, including a medical/scientific library, specialized research facilities, and the ability to work with SUNY Downstate scientists, clinicians, and students to advance their discoveries and perform clinical trials. SUNY Downstate is already in discussion with prospective tenants to begin filling the new space.

In addition, the facility is a Certified Business Incubator of New York State and is part of START-UP NY, which provides companies small, medium and large, with the opportunity to operate free of state and local taxes for up to 10 years.

Companies currently at the Incubator are working on advances in areas such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, women’s health and fertility, an HIV/AIDS vaccine, a miniaturized wireless EEG device, and the development of personalized bone grafts using patients' own adult stem cells.

SUNY Downstate President John F. Williams, Jr., MD, EdD, MPH, FCCM, said, "With the strong support of our Federal, State, City, and Borough of Brooklyn partners, SUNY Downstate's Biotechnology Initiative is helping New York City diversify its industrial base, and is providing educational programs to a growing industry that is key to the region's economic future. Together, we are fueling an engine for jobs and new technologies and working towards bringing innovative medical treatments to the marketplace."

SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall said, "SUNY Downstate’s incubator, together with the entire Biotechnology Park and initiative, has established Brooklyn as an epicenter for biotech research and development while providing New York-based start-ups and early-stage companies a place to collaborate and grow in partnership with our university system. Congratulations to the SUNY Downstate campus on this remarkable achievement and thank you to our many partners in the Brooklyn community for making it possible."

In 2013, Empire State Development designated SUNY Downstate’s Biotech Business Incubator as a New York State Certified Incubator and provideda three-year $125,000 operational grant through its Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation. Additionally, SUNY Downstate's BioBAT facility, at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, was recently awarded a $300,000 ESD Capital Grant through Round V of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative.

BioBAT is for Incubator graduates and for more mature companies that need space for expansion and manufacturing. The BioBAT complex is located on a 97-acre harbor-front campus and is accessible to all New York City medical and research institutions. Working with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Research Foundation for the State University of New York, Downstate is developing 524,000 square feet at BioBAT in stages. Phase 1, which is 38,000 square feet, is completely occupied. Phase 2, which is 85,000 square feet, is now leasing and IRX Therapeutics, which is currently located at the Incubator, is relocating to this area.

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke said, "As a member of the New York City Council, I was proud to work with the community stakeholders of Central Brooklyn, my colleagues in government, and the leadership of SUNY Downstate Medical Center to establish the Advanced Biotechnology Incubator, which today supports biotechnology companies in the early stages of their development. The incubator has been an extraordinary success, developing medical devices that are now used in hospitals and health care centers to improve our quality of health. I have continued to support medical research as a member of the United States House of Representatives as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, incorporating provisions into the Twenty-First Century Cures Act legislation that will allocate $8 billion for medical research in the next decade, expand diversity in medical research centers, and allow medical students to pursue valuable research. So I am especially proud to join Dr. John F. Williams, and the dedicated administration, faculty and staff members at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, in celebrating the next phase of the Advanced Biotechnology Incubator, which will foster more biotechnology companies to create jobs in our community, by expanding to provide more research opportunities that will develop the technologies and treatments that save lives. The opening of the next phase of the Advanced Biotechnology Incubator demonstrates the commitment by SUNY Downstate to invest in research that already contributes more than $2 billion to the economy of the State of New York. With this next phase of the Biotech Incubator, these contributions will continue to increase, establishing Brooklyn as an internationally renowned center of innovation."

Senator Martin J. Golden said, "I have procured for SUNY Downstate over $36 million in New York State capital funding to create a dynamic and robust biotechnology industry in Brooklyn that holds the promise of thousands of high-quality career jobs for our borough. With this announcement we are entering the final phase of a state-of-the-art biotechnology incubator and commercialization center providing desperately needed space for our life-sciences startups. This exciting endeavor is a shining example of what can be accomplished when visionaries in the public and private sectors work together for the betterment of our great City and State. I will continue to work with our Downstate partners to support innovative ideas, create good paying jobs here and throughout New York. Congratulations to Dr. Eva Cramer and SUNY Downstate President Williams."

New York City Council Member Mathieu Eugene said, "The completion of SUNY Downstate Medical Center's Biotechnology Incubator ensures that Brooklyn will be a leader in the biotech industry. This facility will enhance not only Brooklyn but the entire city and I’m pleased to support this project, which will create jobs and increase our reputation as a city devoted to the sciences."

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, "Brooklyn is the center of the innovation universe, and SUNY Downstate's Biotechnology Incubator will be a driving force of creating the health care solutions of tomorrow for years to come. I am proud to have helped fund this important project that will generate dozens of high-quality local jobs, millions of dollars in economic impact and investment, as well as countless benefits for Brooklynites."

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Brooklyn is has long been a center of creativity and innovation, and now the life sciences are blossoming here as well. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's economic development initiatives, like Start-UP NY, which uses the state’s world-class colleges and universities to create and retain jobs, the biotech industry has a solid foundation to grow and create jobs across the state."

To help develop the skilled labor force for the growing biotechnology industry, Downstate launched job-training programs in biotechnology for graduate students at Downstate and, in collaboration with Hunter College of the City University of New York, for undergraduates. The undergraduate program for biotechnology technicians has found employment for more than 140 students. These programs align academic training with industry needs, encourage entrepreneurship, and provide the biotechnology workforce for the future.

START-UP NY provides businesses that create net new jobs in New York State with the opportunity to operate 100 percent tax-free for 10 years, paying no state income tax, business or corporate state or local taxes, sales tax, property tax or franchise fees. The companies also partner with the higher education institutions they are sponsored by, and have the ability to access industry experts and advanced research laboratories associated with the schools.

To date, 75 schools are participating in START-UP NY, establishing more than 440 Tax-Free Areas, representing over 5 million square-feet of tax-free space for new or expanding businesses to operate on or near campuses. Each college and university’s approved START-UP NY plan is available at

About SUNY Downstate
SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school. For more information, visit

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development is New York's chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I Love NY," the State's iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit and

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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