A technology incubator is a place for startups to physically locate in one space among a variety of other companies. A technology incubator differs from a business incubator in that a technology incubator provides equipment that can be used for all tenants. Typically, companies stay in the space on a fee-based contract, as long as they are meeting technical and business development milestones. Peers, industry experts and established entrepreneurs provide science and technology mentorship and guidance on getting the company to its desired next level.
The technology incubators that USTAR operates are specifically focused on science and technology startups. USTAR is focused on supporting technical and scientific early stage start-ups in areas such as R&D, proof of concept, prototyping, product validation, product development and connecting university research with industry and funding.
USTAR offers services specific to the needs of technology industries in the state, including pre-seed and seed funding, core equipment, technology mentoring and networking with federal and private funding sources.
The BioInnovations Gateway (BiG) is a life science incubator for emerging biotech and medical device companies, a high-tech training facility for the next generation of bio-innovators, and a contract research resource for Utah’s life science industry. BiG’s grand opening was held in Salt Lake City Oct. 27, 2009 as a collaborative effort between Granite School District and USTAR.
BiG supports up to 16 resident companies, providing access to state-of-the-art biotech, biomanufacturing, and engineering design and prototyping equipment. The retrofitted facility represents 25,000 square feet of space. Wet and dry labs, a clean room, offices, and meeting space are the main components.
BioInnovations Gateway, one of the first projects of this kind in the nation, integrates high school education and training with life science start-up incubation. Students work side-by-side with resident company staff and may earn high school and college degree credit. BiG is co-located with the Biomanufacturing Program of the Granite Technical Institute which provides specific and industry focused training for entry-level positions in the pharmaceutical, diagnostics, medical device and natural products industries.
The Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) Initiative is a long-term, state-funded investment to build Utah’s technology ecosystem. This revolutionary initiative has invested in world-class innovation teams and research facilities at the University of Utah and Utah State University, to create novel technologies that are subsequently commercialized through new business ventures and a network of regional offices. BiG was ultimately made possible by the efforts of USTAR by providing significant resources in both human and financial capital.
Granite School District
Granite School District (GSD) spreads across central Salt Lake County, Utah. About 70,000 students are enrolled in its programs ranging from kindergarten to twelfth grade. It operates 8 high schools as well as 2 alternative high schools, 16 junior high schools, and 60 elementary schools. This makes GSD the largest school district in the state of Utah. GSD currently houses BiG and has expended significant resources to provide the cutting edge space that our resident companies use to perform ongoing research and develop their technologies. GSD also purchased much of the lab and prototyping equipment for R&D activities.
Granite Technical Institute
The mission of the Granite Technical Institute (GTI) is to support students in finding personal purpose, potential and a pathway to their future. This is accomplished by helping students achieve in their program and to move seamlessly to further training and employment. Efforts are being made to directly align critical academic subjects with Career & Technical Education courses, promoting real-world application to academic theory in such areas as mathematics, science and English. GTI trains and provides the interns employed by BiG clients.
Department of Labor
The mission of The Department of Labor (DOL) is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. The DOL provided the WIRED Grant, a federal grant for regional economic development, which provided the start-up capital to GSD and USTAR to build BiG.