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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $7.8 Million to Establish a Bioscience and Technology Incubator Facility in Lawrence, Kansas, Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $7.8 million grant to the Bioscience & Technology Business Center at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, to build a new facility to increase entrepreneurial and research opportunities in the bioscience and technology sector. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with more than $14 million in state and local funds, and is expected to create 225 jobs, retain more than 100 jobs, and generate $142 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is committed to empowering our nation’s entrepreneurs so they can innovate, thrive, and create new jobs for Americans,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will provide much-needed, highly specialized wet-lab space for the development of bioscience companies, and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will attract additional private investment.”

“Flooding and a tornado in 2019 severely impacted Lawrence and Douglas counties,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will expand the Bioscience & Technology Business Center by building a 66,000-square-foot facility that will help the region diversify its economy, become more resilient in the face of future natural disasters, and capitalize on its Opportunity Zone designation to further transform the community.”

“I support the ongoing and critical mission of the EDA to assist the economic activity of our communities and invest in innovative thought leaders like KU’s Bioscience and Technology Business Center located in an Opportunity Zone in Lawrence,” said Senator Jerry Moran, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. “This grant will grow Kansas’ bioscience and technology sector, creating more than 200 jobs and generating economic opportunities for Lawrence and surrounding communities.”

The funding announced today goes to one of Kansas’ 74 Opportunity Zones. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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