UAMS Wins $600,000 Stimulus Grant to Expand Business Incubator

By David Robinson

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant is expected to create 20 jobs and generate $258,000 in private investment, said Mike Douglas, Ph.D., director of UAMS BioVentures.

The project will provide UAMS BioVentures with 12 offices and 12 labs, doubling the existing number.

“We’re designing the additional space to accommodate more nanomedicine technologies,” Douglas said.

BioVentures helps UAMS researchers get their products into the marketplace through licensing to other companies, assisting with patents, and by providing startup business space. Companies created through BioVentures employ more than 400 people with annual payrolls totaling $21 million.

The EDA Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant was funded by the federal Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In addition to the grant, Fifty for the Future has contributed the bulk of $258,000 in private funds toward construction of the BioVentures building. Fifty for the Future identifies, develops and supports projects and policies that will have a significant long-term positive impact on the metro Little Rock region.

“The combination of strong public and private support has made it possible for BioVentures to build a resource that’s unique in the medical and life-sciences community and makes a real difference in Arkansas’ economy,” said UAMS’ Lawrence Cornett, Ph.D., vice chancellor for research.

EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster economic growth and job creation.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,775 students and 748 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or