July 13, 2017 MINNEAPOLIS, MINN — Nonprofit UEL owns Minnesota’s largest, multi-company, state-of-the-art laboratory facility. UEL is governed by a board and leadership team dedicated to supporting early-stage life science and complementary technology ventures in an ecosystem that enables innovation, growth and commercial success. Founded in 2004, the 125,000 square foot facility is now home to more than 35 companies driving new technologies that may someday change the world. UEL is pleased to announce that its list of tenants will soon include a satellite lab of the University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC).
In its first dozen years, UEL largely provided much-needed and cost-effective laboratory space to Minnesota’s thriving life sciences organizations. Now, however, “UEL is focused on its next chapter,” explains Lynne Osterman, UEL executive director. “We are expanding our robust shared services, educational opportunities and support not only to our tenant companies but to other early-stage companies in the region as well, encouraging their success along the commercialization continuum.”
By providing space for a UMGC satellite lab on site, it will be easier for UEL tenants and the greater biotech community to access the UMN’s genomics technologies and expertise. The UMGC will benefit as well. Having grown by close to 500% over the past decade, the UMGC is outgrowing its campus labs. The UMGC will use the additional square footage at UEL as a place to house services that are significantly used by external clients, permitting it to focus its campus labs on those services most critical to faculty researchers.
“UEL is committed to regional economic growth and we believe leveraging our site and services with an eye to the future is a strategic way for us to support the broader innovation community,” comments Steve Mertens, senior vice president of operations at Nuvaira, and UEL chairman of the board. Genomics is certainly a future-ready area of study and development. “The UMGC epitomizes the UMN’s highest goals in providing extraordinary technical services to the UMN community and our external clients,” stated Tucker LeBien, associate vice president of research for the UMN Academic Health Center. Kenny Beckman, UMN Genomics Center director explained, “UEL is helping us address specific challenges. We hope that by increasing our visibility to the MN biotech community, and increasing the convenience with which external users access our services, we will ensure that our sequencers are running closer to capacity, hence with shorter turn-around.”
UEL will ceremoniously announce and welcome the UMN Genomics Center to its community at its Annual Barbecue on July 19th, the area’s largest networking event of the summer. Additionally, UEL’s leadership team will recognize Peytant Solutions, Inc., an award-winning regenerative medical device company, as its most recent “graduate,”and share more exciting news for third and fourth quarter developments at UEL.