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With shared workspace growing in popularity across the U.S. and around the world, Miami’s newest R&D facility is introducing shared lab and office space intended to foster collaboration and innovation among early-stage research firms, many of which lack the costly facilities and resources required to advance and commercialize their work. University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park (UMLSTP) developer Wexford Science & Technology has executed a lease agreement with Miami-based Right Space Management to  operate and manage The Miami Innovation Center, the first shared space of its kind in the Southeast U.S. and only the fourth nationwide (Boston, San Francisco and St. Louis are home to similar facilities). The complex includes 40,000 square feet of shared office and lab space on the first and third floors of the UMLSTP’s first building.

The announcement coincides with news that the UMLSTP has signed its newest international lab tenant: Denmark-based research firm Glycom, which will occupy space within The Miami Innovation Center. The company is working to commercialize human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), expanding to Miami and the U.S. from Copenhagen with its presence at the UMLSTP.

“The Miami Innovation Center enhances and accelerates the ‘cluster effect’ taking shape on the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park campus and throughout the broader Miami Health District,” said Bill Hunter, Leasing Manager for the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park.  “Miami is home to a growing number of tech and life science startups and international companies are entering the market daily. The Miami Innovation Center offers these companies an affordable setting where they can advance their work while interacting with likeminded entrepreneurs.”

Companies in the Right Space Innovation Center will work side-by-side, sharing discoveries and finding synergies across areas of study. This marks a welcome shift from the traditional closed-door lab model, according to Carolina Rendeiro, CEO of Right Space Management, the operator that will lease and manage the facility.

“As demand for co-working environments grows, we anticipate more and more research-driven companies will seek shared space that opens the door to networking and new business opportunities. The Miami Innovation Center appeals to both Miami-based firms interested in establishing a presence within South Florida’s newest research facility, as well as new-to-market companies looking to leverage Miami’s diversity and the Health District’s wealth of resources,” said Ms. Rendeiro.

The UMLSTP is a natural entry point for inbound companies due to Miami’s connectivity with Europe and Latin America and the park’s proximity to leading research and health institutes throughout the Health District. The Miami Innovation Center adds another layer of benefits, providing infrastructure to budding companies, according to Richard Schuchts, managing partner at SQFT Capital, the commercial real estate brokerage firm that represented Right Space Management in the lease.

“The Miami Innovation Center at the UM Life Science and Technology Park offers robust technologies, fully-built out lab and office space, and educational and social programming that encourage dialogue among tenants – all in a setting that will breed innovation and collaboration among research teams. It’s a winning option for start-up companies that have good ideas but limited growth resources,” Mr. Schuchts said.

Among the plans in store for the Center are regularly scheduled events intended to bring tenants together, including a weekly lecture series, lunch-and-learn sessions where tenants present their research findings, and social networking events. Leasing rates will vary depending on the space requirements and uses.

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