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HCC dedicates new biotechnology labs

February 20, 2008

State and county officials helped dedicate the new biotechnology labs addition to the Technical Innovation Center (TIC) at Hagerstown Community College on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

The 4,000-square-foot facility includes 11 private wet labs and one common lab for lease by start-up biotech and life science firms.

"This is a huge boost to the area's economic development efforts," HCC President Guy Altieri said in a prepared release. "This type of facility greatly enhances HCC's role in providing training and support for start-up businesses that will bring more high-skill, high-wage jobs to the county."

Greg Grillo, president of Nanolytics LLC, signed the first lease agreement after the dedication. Chris Marschner, manager of the TIC, said three other agreements were pending. He said he expects the facility to be fully leased by the end of June.

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Funding for the $1.3 million project came from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and the Washington County Board of County Commissioners. Construction began in July 2007.

According to Marschner, the new biotech start-up companies are intended to serve as a nucleus for the life-science industry in Washington County.

"This extraordinary facility is the cornerstone in building the economy of tomorrow in Washington County," David Edgerley, secretary of the Maryland DBED, said in the release.

HCC officials developed a related biotechnology curriculum that began in the fall of 2007. Students have the option to earn a certificate or degree in biotechnology at HCC and participate in internship opportunities available in the new wet labs facility.

HCC's TIC is a full-service business incubator that fosters the growth of new and expanding businesses by providing access to advanced technologies, business development resources and collaborative opportunities. An integral part of its mission is to create and retain high-quality employment opportunities for HCC's students and the quad-state community.

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