New Labs Announced for Pharma, Academic and Government Research

In the first half of IBO‘s biannual coverage of major new labs, we take a look at pharmaceutical, government, chemical and academic laboratory buildings planned for or under construction.


ASU Builds New Research Center as Part of Expansion Plan

Organization: Arizona State University

Location: Phoenix, Arizona, US

Lab Size: 200,000 ft2 (18,581 m²)

Lab Cost: $77 million

Estimated Opening Date: 2020

 The Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, will get a new research center in 2020. The sprawling Wexford Science and Technology building is part of Arizona State University’s (ASU) expansion efforts, and is also aimed at strengthening the private sector’s investment in bioscience and health technology. This marks the 13th project and first public-private development for Wexford, a private research company that partners with universities and research institutions to construct mixed-use facilities. The project is expected to help establish ASU as a leading global research center by 2025.


Collaborative Research Complex to Accelerate Research at Cal Poly

Organization: Cal Poly; California State University; Cal Poly Corporation

Location: San Luis Obispo, California, US

Lab Size: 100,000 ft2 (9,290 m²)

Lab Cost: $125 million

Estimated Opening Date: 2021 (first phase)

 The new Science and Agriculture Teaching and Research Complex (SATRC) at Cal Poly will be an interdisciplinary facility shared by the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science and Mathematics, and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. At four stories, the majority of the building will house faculty offices and labs, while the first floor will contain a lecture hall, classrooms, a computer lab, project areas, a culinary lab, and an assigned section for electrical and mechanical equipment.

The Complex will also feature an agricultural technology center named for Jim Boswell, a Cal Poly graduate who donated $10 million to the project. As the project is a collaboration between multiple faculties, the Center for Expressive Technologies for the College of Liberal Arts will relocate to the SATRC. California State University also donated $10 million for classrooms, as did the Cal Poly Corporation. The first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed by fall 2021.


Leading Japanese Pharma Company to Build Three New Sites

Organization: Astellas Pharma

Location: Toyama and Tsukuba, Japan; Massachusetts, US

Lab Size: 8,000 m² (86,111 ft2); 1,800 m² (19,375 ft2); 24,000 m² (258,334 ft2)

Lab Cost: ¥10.0 billion ($89.9 million); ¥5.0 billion ($44.9 million); ¥14.0 billion ($125.8 million)

Estimated Opening Date: 2019; 2020

 Japanese pharmaceutical firm Astellas Pharma announced last fall the construction or renovation of new R&D and manufacturing facilities in Japan and in the US. At the Astellas’ Technology Center in Toyama, Japan, the company is constructing a Center for Active Ingredient for Biopharmaceuticals (provisional name), which will have antibody manufacturing capabilities for use in products in Europe, Japan and the US. The 8,000 m² (86,111 ft2) Center will also be a site for manufacturing cell therapeutics, and will cost approximately ¥10.0 billion ($89.9 million).

Another Center, the Center for Multimodality Clinical Trial Materials (provisional name), is planned for construction in Tsukuba, Japan, inside Astellas’ Biotechnology Research Center. At 1,800 m² (19,375 ft2), the Center will be for the manufacture of clinical trial materials to be used in early-stage clinical trials (Phase 1 and 2), with the company investing ¥5.0 billion ($44.9 million) into the building.

Additionally, the company is relocating and renovating its Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which is a subsidiary of the company and an R&D center for regenerative medicine and cell therapeutics. Located in Massachusetts, the Institute will be moved to another area in the state, and will have an additional 2 ground floors and a total space of 24,000 m² (258,334 ft2). With a ¥14.0 billion ($125.8 million) investment, Astellas aims to accelerate R&D in the regenerative medicine and cell therapy areas, and facilitate the company’s commercial production.


Merck Expands US Research Hub

Organization: Merck KGaA

Location: Billerica, Massachusetts, US

Lab Size: 145,000 ft2 (13,470 m²)

Lab Cost: $70 million

Estimated Opening Date: 2021

Merck KGaA announced last month plans to expand its R&D center at its Billerica, Massachusetts, site. The facility will contain new lab and collaborative workspaces, wet labs and office space to house approximately 400 R&D staff concentrating on oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology research. With this latest building, Merck’s R&D infrastructure investments since 2011 will total over $150 million for the acceleration of biopharmaceutical R&D in Massachusetts.

Merck also stated that the building will meet requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and WELL certifications, a program and standard, respectively, for the construction and operation of green buildings.


New Energy Research Building for PNNL

Organization: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Location: Richland, Washington, US

Lab Size: 110,000 –145,000 ft2 (10,219–13,470 m²)

Lab Cost: $90 million

Estimated Opening Date: 2021

The US government has invested $90 million to fund the construction of a new energy sciences research building at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The building will largely be for research in advanced chemistry, materials science and computing, with goals that include the development of more energy-efficient chemical processes and new materials for energy technologies. The facility will house workstations and labs for around 175 scientists, engineers and staff, and will encourage collaboration within the region, as well as with the University of Washington and Washington State University.

Along with the federal funding, the state of Washington donated $8 million specifically for purchasing or upgrading scientific instrumentation for the building.

Michigan State Helps Fund New Complex for MTU

Organization: Michigan Technological University

Location: Houghton, Michigan, US

Lab Size: 115,000 ft2 (10,684 m²)

Lab Cost: $44.7 million

Estimated Opening Date: 2023

Michigan Technological University’s Board has approved planning and design for a new H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex. The Complex will have 68,000 ft2 (6,317 m²) of new space, which will include shared and flexible lab space, and 47,000 ft2 (4,366 m²) of renovated classrooms within the Chemical Sciences and Engineering building. The H-STEM Complex will also be connected to the Chemical Sciences building. Michigan state will contribute $29.7 million towards the project, while Michigan Tech will contribute $15 million in matching funds.


Silicones Leader Doubles R&D Workspace

Organization: Elkem Silicones

Location: Saint-Fons, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lab Size: 64,583 ft2 (6,000 m²)

Lab Cost: €25 million ($28.3 million)

Estimated Opening Date: 2020

Silicon solutions giant Elkem Silicones plans to double the R&D space at its Saint-Fons site in France to foster collaboration between the company’s research teams as well as across its the open-innovation network in the  Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Workspaces from the original site will be grouped at the new research center to streamline work between the R&D teams. The teams will largely be from China, Europe and the US and will collaborate at the R&D center using enhanced lab equipment and on new projects. In total, the site is estimated to house 130 researchers.


Sound Trailblazer Ray Dolby’s Estate Donates to University of Cambridge

Organization: Estate of Ray Dolby

Location: Cambridge, England

Lab Size: 354,000 ft2 (32,888 m²)

Lab Cost: £150 million ($98.8 million)

Estimated Opening Date: 2022

Thanks to a £75 million ($98.8 million) donation from Ray Dolby’s estate, the University of Cambridge will house a research center at its West Cambridge campus. The center will contain a variety of labs, offices, clean rooms, workshops and lecture theaters, as well a basement area with specialist acoustic and vibration treatments to operate equipment that is extremely vibration sensitive. The site will be a key facility for physics research, and much of the research equipment at the center will be available for use by other institutions.

In addition to the Dolby estate’s donation, the research center is being constructed through funding from the UK government’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.


New Center for Biology, Chemistry at TWU

Organization: Texas Woman’s University

Location: Denton, Texas, US

Lab Size: 80,000 ft2 (7,432 m²)

Lab Cost: $54 million

Estimated Opening Date: 2020

 At four stories, the new Science & Technology Learning Center at Texas Woman’s University will be home to both undergraduate and graduate research lab space for subjects such as biology, chemistry and biochemistry, nutrition and food science, and psychology. The Center will also house collaboration and conference spaces, faculty offices, workspaces for graduate students, and lab support spaces, as well scientific instrument repair services and a microscopy suite. The purpose of the Center is to accelerate innovative research and enhance interdisciplinary collaborations. The Center is expected to be complete in summer 2020.

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