BioLinc is in Business: Biosciences incubator at Brock University ready to accept first tenants

From left: Dan Lynch, manager, BioLinc; Nick DiPietro, chair of BioLinc's advisory board; Brock President Jack Lightstone; Rock Dykstra, MP for St. Catharines; Don Cyr, Dean, Goodman School of Business; and Jeff Chesebrough, director of Innovation and Incubation at Brock cu the ribbon at Wednesday's BioLinc grand opening.

From left: Dan Lynch, manager, BioLinc; Nick DiPietro, Executive in Residence at Innovate Niagara; Brock President Jack Lightstone; Rick Dykstra, MP for St. Catharines; Don Cyr, Dean, Goodman School of Business; and Jeff Chesebrough, director of Innovation and Incubation at Brock, cut the ribbon at Wednesday's BioLinc grand opening.

Niagara’s much-anticipated business incubator – BioLinc – was formally launched into action on Sept. 11 by Brock University and area economic development partners.

The incubator is a major initiative, funded by the federal government, and by local partners, to align university researchers with private-sector entrepreneurs, and expand Canada’s economy by converting innovations and discoveries into knowledge-based commercial enterprises.

Operating under Brock’s Goodman School of Business, BioLinc provides space and an environment where students, researchers and companies collaborate to turn knowledge into marketable products and services. Located in Brock’s new Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, the incubator will inevitably have an emphasis on bioscience-related breakthroughs.

“BioLinc will emphasize collaboration by removing the barriers that stand between innovative ideas and commercial success,” says Jack Lightstone, President, Brock University. “This incubator will bridge the gap between scientific discovery and business opportunity by bringing the people who come up with and develop an idea together with the people who can sell it.”

In practice, BioLinc provides a place of expertise for Brock science students who have an idea that may have market potential. BioLinc gives students access to the University’s resources and researchers to develop ideas, and connects them with the necessary expertise to access the market and build ideas into viable business ventures.

“We have the capacity to accommodate an ever-changing mix of student entrepreneurs, researchers and companies,” says Don Cyr, Dean, Goodman School of Business. “Our student consulting service is also setting up at BioLinc, providing new, real-life learning opportunities for our students and providing business support services for the tenants of BioLinc.”

With a focus on growing Niagara’s biosciences industry cluster, BioLinc was launched with an $843,000 contribution from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) through its Prosperity Initiative. The incubator is a hub of 4,000 square feet of lab space, offices, meeting rooms and research infrastructure that is designed to encourage people working together to solve problems and develop viable solutions.

“Our Government is proud to support projects like this one that have the capacity to increase business opportunities for our entrepreneurs in the bioscience fields,” says the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario. “I congratulate Brock University on the official opening of BioLinc – a facility that will advance innovative research and ideas into viable business opportunities in St. Catharines and southern Ontario.”

“I couldn’t be happier to see BioLinc ready to help grow and diversify our economy,” says Rick Dykstra, MP for St. Catharines. “The way forward is to combine innovation with entrepreneurship and I believe BioLinc will be the catalyst for collaborations that will greatly benefit our community and beyond.”

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