FULTON MARKET — A new biotech and life science incubator plans to create a thriving hub for the industry in Chicago.
City officials and the team behind Fulton Labs cut the ribbon Thursday on the 14-story facility at 1375 W. Fulton Market St. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the facility, backed by Portal Innovations, would “unlock [the] city’s assets and grow our life sciences and health care innovation centers.”
“Our national labs are just brimming with talent and ideas and innovation, and this center will allow them to take their ideas and build them into businesses that will ultimately provide life-saving drugs and therapies for people,” Lightfoot said.
Portal Innovation CEO John Flavin said Fulton Labs, along with Portal Innovations, would raise Chicago’s profile as a hub for the biotech and life science industry.
Flavin said Portal was equivalent to “Chess Records … where, you know, blues guitarists, rock bands come hang out, build a team to create great material.”
“Here, we’ll be bringing that same mentality to scientists and those innovators that want to create great material, as well,” Flavin said.
The draw to Chicago for Portal was “great research institutions” like Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois and Rush University, as well as major funding from the National Institutes of Health, Flavin added.
Ald. Walter Burnett (27th), who represents the Fulton Market area, said the new lab plus three other labs in the works would open the door to more opportunity in Chicago.
With the budding life science buildings, office buildings and a popular restaurant scene, there is a diversity of fields converging in the Fulton Market and greater West Loop, Burnett said.
“There is a lot of creativity in this community,” Burnett said.
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