Delaware Launches Pilot Program to Expand Availability of Ready-To-Go Laboratory Space

Delaware has launched a pilot grant program designed to spur private sector-led projects that will help the state attract and retain science and tech companies by expanding its inventory of ready-to-go lab space.

The state’s Council on Development Finance (CDF) allocated up to $3 million from the Delaware Strategic Fund (DSF) in December, and additional funding has been committed from the FY22 budget by Governor Carney.   

The new program will offer grants to companies of up to 33% of the fit-out costs for lab space, with the developer agreeing to make good-faith efforts to fill the space with lab tenants if the original user grows out of it or has another reason for moving. In the event those efforts aren’t successful, the state will provide the building owner with a portion of the lost rent as a stopgap measure. This will ensure that the infrastructure remains intact as an asset in the state to support the continued growth of the industry.

Delaware Prosperity Partnership will begin vetting companies to ensure they are at the right phase to qualify for the grant. Companies need to be partnered with developers on a specific project to apply. The state will begin reviewing qualified applicants as soon as they have cleared the vetting process. Companies or developers interested in learning more or applying for the grant should contact DPP Director of Innovation Ariel Gruswitz here.

The CDF previously has supported efforts by the state to build out space for early-stage ventures, including two incubators with wet labs: Delaware Innovation Space and DTB@STAR, an affiliate of the Delaware Technology Park. In addition, Delaware is home to several large global leaders in research and development, with firms including Gore, FMC, DuPont, Chemours and Incyte.

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