VABeachBio Launches in Virginia Beach to Attract Bio Business

Development Authority Approves Bio Accelerator

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development has launched VABeachBio, an initiative to attract biomedical and life science businesses to Virginia Beach and to create jobs. The initiative builds on the strength of the assets in Virginia Beach’s Princess Anne Commons corridor, home to a concentration of world-renowned bio and life science businesses and institutions of higher education.

The Virginia Beach Development Authority approved a facility use agreement with Tidewater Community College (TCC) to create a Bio Accelerator in the college’s Regional Health Professions Center at 1700 College Crescent. The Bio Accelerator will include 1,500 square feet of offices, meeting rooms and lab spaces with high-level specifications and other support services on site. This temporary lab space can help bio companies get started in Virginia Beach until they are ready for a more permanent location.

“The Bio Accelerator will be a great marketing tool for us to recruit new businesses to the city,” said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris. “The space is ideal for start-ups in the biomedical, bio-tech and life sciences industries. We will be able to customize the space to meet the needs of these new businesses, and companies can work with TCC professionals to tap into the college’s resources and expertise.”

The TCC Regional Health Professions Center is a key asset within the Princess Anne Commons bio corridor. The 65,000-square-foot facility houses the college’s health professions academic programs, with clinical learning in simulated hospital, lab, paramedic and doctor’s office environments.

The Bio Corridor is also home to a number of regional partners, including biomedical organizations, institutions of higher education and regional healthcare leaders. These include LifeNet Health’s world headquarters and Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Operation Smile’s world headquarters, Sentara Princess Anne Hospital and two facilities operated by Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters.

The VaBeachBio initiative was created as a result of work done by Mayor Sessoms’ Bio Task Force. Chaired by Williams Mullen’s Tom Frantz and LifeNet Health’s Rony Thomas, the Bio Task Force developed a plan to fulfill the mayor’s vision to “establish Virginia Beach as a destination for groundbreaking research and development and headquarters of some of the world’s leading innovators in healthcare, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and healthcare delivery systems.”

VABeachBio also includes plans to develop a new business park in the Princess Anne Commons area, along with a menu of incentives available to new and expanding businesses.

Today also marks the launch of www.vabeachbio.com, the one-stop shop for all information concerning this innovative biomedical initiative, as well as an overview of the biomedical industry strengths in the Princess Anne Commons corridor, Virginia Beach, the region and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of nearly 450,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the best-run cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2012 and is one of only 45 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. Virginia Beach is listed among the Top Five Overall Mid-sized American Cities of the Future, Top 10 for Economic Potential and Top Five for Infrastructure by fDi magazine. CNNMoney.com ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com.

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