PRESS RELEASE – Sherbrooke Innopole and its partners officially launched the construction of the multi-tenant centre EspaceLabz today. Some 60 guests from the business community and the institutional sector were present for the unveiling of the building’s model and logo, at which the identities of the first tenants who will move in during the summer were also revealed.
The building, to be built at 2650 Maximilien-Chagnon St. in the Sherbrooke Science Park, will cover 20 000 sq. ft. over two floors and contain offices of various dimensions, private laboratories, and shared laboratories with a range of specialized equipment. The model also includes common areas, like a conference room and lounge area.
The project entails $5.5M in investments, and its business plan forecasts the creation of 60 jobs within the next 5 years. It is the result of the partnership among the City of Sherbrooke, the Comité de promotion industrielle de Brompton (CPIB – Brompton’s industrial promotion committee) – which will both own and manage the centre, the Comité de promotion industrielle de Sherbrooke (CPIS – Sherbrooke’s industrial promotion committee) – which will be in charge of managing the building’s construction and has contributed financially, and Sherbrooke Innopole.
Sherbrooke Mayor Bernard Sévigny highlighted the importance of this infrastructure: “We are fortunate to be a university city with a tremendous potential for the creation of technological businesses, however, we must provide the environment and conditions to foster their development here,” he explained. “The City of Sherbrooke is proud to support this project, as it is an essential tool for economic development and the retention of start-ups in the Life Sciences sector.”
President of the Board of Directors at Sherbrooke Innopole, Pierre Tremblay, went further by underlining how EspaceLabz will enhance the vitality of the Science Park and the sector’s attractiveness to foreign companies, in addition to providing young businesses with well-equipped premises at a competitive cost: “With ACET providing support and tools to young entrepreneurs, and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke hosting them during the early stages of their businesses, EspaceLabz will be the finishing touch in the continuum of transforming research and knowledge into businesses.”
The construction of the multi-tenant centre next to the biopharmaceutical company Charles River was very favourably received by Michel Provence, General Manager at Charles River Sherbrooke: “This major investment will make it possible to create an environment highly conducive to innovation, and we look forward to supporting the development of start-ups in the Life Sciences sector.”
EspaceLabz has also been able to rely on the support of several partners for the acquisition of its equipment, including VWR International, which has been collaborating closely with the project since its inception to help get the laboratories up and running. The multinational will also occupy premises in the building and its equipment will be available for use by other centre tenants. “We are proud to be partners with Sherbrooke Innopole to contribute not only to economic development in the Sherbrooke region, but also to the development of science and technology,” noted Bruno Cuoci, Vice-President, Sales – Canada at VWR International. “This will give SMEs access to state-of-the-art laboratories at an affordable cost, and provide them with the tools to further their research and marketing projects.”
In addition to VWR and Sherbrooke Innopole, which will use a small office, five SMEs have confirmed their intention to move into EspaceLabz, including Immune Biosolutions. “This is a historic turning point for our company,” noted Immune Biosolutions President Frédéric Leduc. “Given our recent accomplishments worldwide, our current facilities cannot sustain the growth of our operations.”
“With promising collaborations with researchers at the Université de Sherbrooke, a skilled and accessible workforce, an exceptional quality of life, and an advantageous geographic location between Montréal and Boston, Sherbrooke was an obvious choice. EspaceLabz will enable us to grow and be part in Sherbrooke’s entrepreneurial boom,” he said, with enthusiasm.
Immune Biosolutions, which makes antibodies using hens’ eggs, employs 15 people, and will occupy a large part of the building’s ground floor. The company is planning to move there in the summer, as soon as construction of the building is completed. The other tenants will gradually move in over the following months.
Source: Sherbrooke Innopole