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COVID-19 UPDATES: Reflecting on Change; Gov. Baker Visits LabCentral; Virtual Panel Covers State of Biotech Real Estate Market

Disclaimer: the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the individual author, and not to LabCentral or the author’s employer, organization or committee.

A Time for Reflection
 
This moment in time is a difficult one as we grapple with the collective pain our nation is facing in the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many more who have had their lives taken from them through senseless violent acts of injustice. In recent weeks, our team has participated in many discussions on how together we can create a strong and actionable plan for what LabCentral can do to affect change - both within our organization and in the external community.
 
Like all organizations made up of unique individuals, we do not always share the same views or life experiences, but we share a passion for innovation and change, communicating with transparency and honesty, being kind and respectful, and embracing the many facets of diversity. As a business, we have made strides to engage with the community around us and to advance the empowerment of others through workforce development and intern programs. We will continue and reinforce this effort to help where we can, and actively, collectively, and vigorously combat racism and inequity on many levels. We will not sit by quietly or indifferently at this moment.
 
We at LabCentral will actively do our part to support our Black friends and families and team members of color and help build a more just and equitable society for all.
 
A “Culture of Care”
 
We are truly grateful for each and every member of our community who has done their part to work with us on adapting during these tumultuous times. At LabCentral, we are working on a concept called “Culture of Care” for our team, which reminds us of our responsibilities towards our other team members, acknowledges just how uncomfortable this present moment is, and asks us to treat each other with compassion and kindness. It means giving each other the benefit of the doubt and presuming the best of other’s actions. It also includes being mindful of how our individual choices, actions, and travels outside of LabCentral may affect or put at risk our community here.
 
As we progress along in the state’s reopening plan, and in the face of massive demonstrations and protests across the country, we are asking our employees and residents to exercise their best judgement in how they interact with others. We acknowledge the desire of individuals to be a part of the larger discussion around what’s happening in our country, and we are urging our LabCentral community to remain aware of the risks that are associated with higher density gatherings and to utilize the protocols we have become familiar with at LabCentral to consistently support safety both inside and outside of the workplace.
 
Ongoing COVID-19 Compliance

As part of Massachusetts’ Phase 1 “Return-to-Work” compliance mandates, explicit training around COVID guidelines and safety best practices are a top priority. To support clarity and consistency of communications about our COVID safety protocols , LabCentral has created a series of video shorts that are required viewing for all of our residents:

  • Step-by-Step COVID-19 Workplace Safety
  • Onsite Visitor Protocols during COVID-19
  • 11 Safety Tips during COVID-19

Take a look at our video shorts to see how we’ve tried to make COVID-19 training educational but fun for our residents!

As a supplementary effort, we are also testing touchless temperature sensors for use throughout our facilities, we’re looking forward to integrating this innovative technology into our proactive, multi-layered approach to LabCentral community safety.

Governor Baker Visits LabCentral
 
The COVID-19 crisis is one that only science can solve, and the biotech community here in Massachusetts is uniquely positioned to develop answers. We recently hosted Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito at LabCentral as part of their phase 2 re-opening tour.

We were able to showcase the incredible innovation and agility of our life sciences companies as they’ve rapidly pivoted to address the challenge of the COVID pandemic with new testing, vaccine and diagnostics technologies.
 
Governor Baker met with three of our current resident and alumni companies to learn more about their scientific efforts to help address COVID-19:

Affinivax (vaccine development)

E25Bio (rapid self-diagnostics technology)

HelixNano (vaccine development)

Watch the live broadcast of the Governor's visit to hear more about these innovations, as well as steps LabCentral companies have taken to successfully modify their businesses to remain both safe and operational.
 
Panel Series: Innovation and Biotech During COVID-19

Save the Date!

The next panel in our ongoing COVID-19 virtual webinar series will be held on Tuesday, June 23, at 1:30 p.m. and will focus on tech transfer and academia during the pandemic. Check our “Events” page later this week for more details and registration info.

See the Discussion: COVID-19’s Impact on Biotech Real Estate and Beyond
 
Last week’s panel, “Innovation and Biotech in the Time of COVID-19: Real Estate,” brought together local business, biotech and real estate leaders to discuss their perspectives on COVID-19 and its long-term impact on the real estate market – particularly the biotech industry.

Guest speakers included:        
Juliette Reiter, Executive Managing Director, Newmark Knight Frank
Kamran Tavangar, COO, Affinivax
Cerise Marcela, Senior Manager, CBRE

Watch the full panel session here.

And please remember … stay safe, stay healthy and stay home!