The School of Pharmacy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is offering small businesses in the health sciences field the opportunity to rent lab space at the University to support their work. Businesses will be able to rent sections of the lab, which was previously used for a course that the school no longer teaches, while also gaining access to a common space, locker rooms, and mail facilities. Groups renting space would also be able to negotiate access to autoclaves, refrigerators, freezers, mass spectrometry, zetasizers, fume hoods, flow cytometry, animal facilities, and waste disposal services. Virtual space is available for those who are not yet ready to move into the lab, but who need a mailing address and common space access as they apply for grants and work to establish themselves and their businesses.

The school hopes that the availability of this new lab space will help the Kansas City region better support its biosciences industry, and alleviate the current shortage of lab space available to small businesses in the area. The university is particularly hopeful that the space could help support early-stage groups pursuing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants to help them get off the ground with their work. 

By virtue of the lab’s proximity to the UMKC schools of pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, and nursing, groups in the lab would also have the potential to collaborate with university researchers on projects, including those requiring IRB or IACUC approval, and take advantage of students looking for projects and research collaborations. The space is not envisioned as an incubator, but the university hopes to be able to host regular meetings of companies using the lab in order to cultivate a collaborative environment. University researchers and staff may also be available to help companies confront many of the problems that small bioscience businesses may experience while trying to scale up.

The facilities are currently open for groups looking to move in, and anyone interested can contact Gerald Wyckoff at wyckoffg@umkc.edu

Dr. Gerald Wyckoff, PhD, Chair, Division of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Director of Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Missouri Kansas City, presented to the KC digital Drive Health Innovation Team on December 14, 2022.

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