UM Life Science & Technology Park Grand Opening is Tuesday

The much-anticipated debut of the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park has arrived. On Tuesday, September 20, President Donna E. Shalala and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., will preside over the 10 a.m. grand opening ceremony, joined by a wide range of partners who worked closely with the University to complete the first phase of the technology park, which will transform Miami into a hub for biotechnology and leading-edge translational science.

"The University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park is going to lead the way in biomedical research for South Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean Basin," said Dean Goldschmidt. "This state-of-the-art complex will push research to new heights and help us advance new therapies and preventive strategies for patients around the world, while transforming Miami into a world-class destination for research, technology and the absolute best, most compassionate medical care."

The celebration, which will include a ceremony and tours, will mark the official opening of the first building of the UM Life Science & Technology Park (UMLSTP). Built by private developer Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, and located at the intersection of Northwest 20th Street and 7th Avenue, R+D One, as the first building is known, is being called a plus for the historic neighborhood. The 252,000-square-foot building houses wet and dry labs, offices, lab-ready development suites, and retail space - all intended to help knowledge-based research and product development teams foster innovation and commercialize technology for public use and benefit.

More than 60 percent of the park's first building is now leased, with a number of prospective tenants in the pipeline. Occupants will include Andago, a Spain-based information technology company; medical device company Emunamedica; Community Blood Centers of South Florida; medical device firm DayaMed; national intellectual property law firm Novak Druce + Quigg; the Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida; clinical research firm Advanced Pharma CR, LLC; and the University of Miami Tissue Bank.

Already, members of the Miller School leadership are working on expanding the offering of community programs near the park, particularly in the Overtown neighborhood. UM, Miami Dade College, and South Florida Workforce are rolling out a new $400,000 jobs program that will train candidates in health care and biotech fields, locating jobs for them in the UMLSTP or the surrounding Miami Health District upon completion of their training.

On September 10, the three partners and a few others hosted a free community resource fair at the UMLSTP. Area and neighboring residents received health screenings as well as employment information.

"The University has had a long relationship with all the communities surrounding the Health District and has built the area into an international gateway for biotechnology. We intend to continue and, in fact, strengthen our relationship with the community," said Marcelo Radice, executive director of UM Innovation & UMLSTP.

The park's master plan includes up to five buildings totaling roughly 1.6 to 2.0 million square feet of retail, lab and office space, making it the largest facility of its kind in South Florida.