LabCentral’s Impact in 2019August 10, 2020 | By Lindsay Crockett
The COVID-19 global pandemic has completely changed our daily lives and turned the past four months into “business unusual” for everyone. It’s brought great challenges in public policy, healthcare, and the economy, but also highlighted a spirit and sense of community as people around the world work together to solve this crisis.
As LabCentral navigated the early challenges of the pandemic – instituting measures to keep our facilities open for our Residents’ critical research and launching our weekly virtual event series as a platform for community debate and discussion – another necessary change for us was in how we communicate about our impact in the previous year.
Under normal circumstances, LabCentral would issue a formal Impact Report with key statistics, Resident profiles, and commentary about our success in meeting key objectives in the previous year. However, the ‘new normal’ meant we needed to adjust for these unusual times. We are excited to share the following summary about the impact of LabCentral and our community in 2019. Click on the images to take a closer look.
The Economic Engine of Kendall Square
Between revered colleges and universities, esteemed research institutions and pharmaceutical giants, LabCentral exists at the epicenter of the biotech world: Kendall Square.
Since our founding in 2013, LabCentral has supported more than 126 companies that collectively have raised more than $5.9 billion in funding and created 2,395 jobs for the local Massachusetts economy.
There are 789 scientists and entrepreneurs within LabCentral's Resident and Alumni networks and 13% of our Alumni companies have had successful exits through mergers and acquisitions or IPOs.
Underscoring the entrepreneurial teams and breakthrough scientific research happening in our facilities, LabCentral Resident and Alumni companies closed $582 million in Series A funding in 2019. That total amounted to a staggering 20% of the total Series A funding raised in the biotech and life sciences sector in the United States.
Accelerating Scientific Discoveries
One of our main missions is providing the facilities, resources, and community to help entrepreneurs and scientists accelerate the development of their ideas. Without having to worry about the capital expenses for building out lab space or buying expensive equipment, they can focus on the science. In 2019, LabCentral purchased 67 new pieces of lab equipment, processed 111,104 orders on our purchasing platform, The Stork, and transported 156 terabytes of data across our network.
In addition, our events and programs for Residents, Alumni, sponsors and the broader community provide a platform for what we call “collisions” – serendipitous interactions at LabCentral and around Kendall Square between scientists working on adjacent problems, entrepreneurs and investors or biotech start-ups and pharmaceutical partners. In 2019, LabCentral hosted more than 250 lab trainings and 239 events, including technical and scientific seminars, business development meetings, STEM education and outreach, as well as community gatherings and social events. We also hosted more than 165 tours and nearly 14,000 unique visitors.
Creating a Biotech Continuum
And as our companies have grown over the last five years, LabCentral has grown with them to meet their evolving needs with a pipeline of spaces, tools, and resources for every stage of their development. Between LabCentral, the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab, and LabCentral 610, our team of 42 people now support operations across 120,000 square feet of lab and office space.
In 2019, we announced the next logical step in our pipeline: LabCentral 238. Once operational, it will provide an additional 100,000 square feet of labs, offices, and shared process development and scale-up manufacturing as our residents prepare for GMP.
In addition, we’re proud to support not just the next generation of biotech startups but also the next generation of scientists, entrepreneurs, technicians and cutting-edge thinkers. From STEM education programs with BioBuilder and other non-profits to partnerships with workforce and career pipeline organizations – with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion – we are focused on developing the future leaders of Kendall Square.
“Our 2019 impact numbers reflect LabCentral’s mission to accelerate the development of new companies and scientific innovations so they can have an impact on public health and the economy sooner,” said Johannes Fruehauf, co-founder and president of LabCentral. “The pandemic has demonstrated the urgency of that goal and we have been thrilled to see our Resident and Alumni companies–we call them our "COVIDbusters"– rise up to tackle the challenge from new vaccines and diagnostics to cell therapies and other treatments. Now more than ever, science matters and LabCentral remains a driving force behind it.”