The SPEC Labs Centre for Biomedical Innovation (SPEC Labs) announced today a partnership with the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) through UTM’s new life science incubator SpinUp. This partnership will help meet a critical need for high-quality wet lab space in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and drive health-promoting innovation nationally from its earliest stages to scale.
The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is Canada's premier hub for the biopharmaceutical industry. It connects the country’s largest hospital networks; leading medical and university research centres, including U of T; and Canadian headquarters of some of the world's most impactful pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies.
The region also has urgent demand for wet lab space. To meet the current scientific need, the GTHA has to have 3.5 million more square feet of lab space than is currently available; Canada as a whole needs 13 million more. This gap has special impact on life science entrepreneurs emerging from universities and hospitals, who rely on the availability of larger lab spaces to expand their experiments, grow their companies, and realize the full potential of their innovations.
The partnership between SpinUp and SPEC Lab’s will take a major step in this direction.
SpinUp offers affordable wet lab space, equipment, and programs for up to 23 early-stage life science companies – all onsite at UTM, in one of the world’s leading universities for scientific research, teaching, and entrepreneurship. SPEC Labs provides what entrepreneurs need next: turn-key wet lab facilities, infrastructure, and expertise for companies to expand on a larger scale. All tenants at SPEC Labs also receive added supports across a range of topics – from compliance to procurement to health and safety.
“Together, SpinUp and SPEC Labs open a pipeline for emerging life science companies to thrive in Mississauga and beyond,” says Raquel De Souza, SpinUp’s Director. “Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to start at SpinUp, mature their intellectual property, and develop a case for investment – before moving to a larger scale at SPEC Labs.”
“Our partnership opens a path to provide continuous service for companies graduating from SpinUp,” adds Doris Qamar, SPEC Labs’ Executive Director. “This continuity is a critical piece to foster biotech innovation and power Ontario grown companies.”
About SPEC Labs Centre for Advancement of Biomedical Innovation
SPEC Labs is Canada’s premier shared wet lab space for scaling life science companies, including those graduating from university incubators and accelerators.
SPEC Labs is dedicated to providing companies with turn-key facilities and access to world-class equipment and expertise. Its spaces are located strategically, in the heart of Canada’s largest life science sectors alongside leading teaching hospitals, research universities, and scientific boards.
SPEC Labs also supports online and international companies who want to access North American markets. It provides all tenants advice on compliance, procurement, health and safety, and other essential business and operational topics.
About SpinUp and U of T
SpinUp is the first wet lab venture incubator at the University of Toronto, Canada’s leading centre for learning and discovery and one of the world’s top-two universities for health science productivity.
SpinUp is purpose-built to drive life science innovation. It offers early-stage life science start-ups access to outstanding wet lab space, equipment, and expertise in the new science building at U of T Mississauga – at a fraction of the cost of comparable facilities.
SpinUp is proudly part of U of T Entrepreneurship, a network of 12+ innovation accelerators across three campuses. Over the past ten years, this network has supported more than 650 capital-backed companies, which have created 9,000 jobs and raised $2.5 million in external investment. U of T now launches more research-based start-ups than any university in North America outside of MIT.
Learn more about SpinUp, U of T Mississauga, and U of T Entrepreneurship here.
For U of T Mississauga:
Media Relations, Office of Communications