Governor Hochul Announces Opening of New York State's New $40 Million Biodefense Commercialization Fund

September 8, 2021

Infectious Disease Fund Developed to Support and Accelerate Growth in New York's Life Science Industry and Combat Public Health Threats like COVID-19

Fund Will Fast Track Qualified Startups, Early Stage Companies and Late Stage Academic Research in New York Institutions to Commercialize Efforts to Combat Infectious Disease

Applications and Fund Guidelines Available Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the opening of New York's new $40 million Biodefense Commercialization Fund. The program will accelerate the development and commercialization of life science research and innovations that address serious infectious health threats, including COVID-19 and its variants—an issue of growing urgency given the recent uptick in cases across the nation.

"No state was hit harder and faster by COVID-19 than New York State—and it is incumbent upon us to use the lessons we learned to better prepare for the future," Governor Hochul said. "The Biodefense Commercialization Fund will help the next generation of startups and early-stage companies combat infectious diseases while creating jobs and investment in New York's life science industry. We want to ensure that New York is where these groundbreaking companies start and operate, and that our state is at the center of the search for solutions to the world's most pressing problems."    

Grants awarded through this fund will help bring to market infectious disease solutions, including diagnostics, therapeutics and other innovations that address or mitigate the spread of serious infectious diseases, encouraging growth across New York's expanding life science industry and positioning the state as a leader in infectious disease resiliency and mitigation. 

Eligible companies that are developing promising diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, and other innovations to prevent, treat or mitigate serious infectious disease threats can apply for grants of up to $4 million. New York's academic research institutions will be able to apply for grants of up to $500,000 to help fast track advanced intellectual property in life sciences. An emphasis will be placed on supporting the development of innovations with the highest potential for commercial viability. More information can be found online here

The Biodefense Commercialization Fund will be managed by Empire State Development, with guidance from an Executive Committee that includes representatives from New York State's Department of Health, Columbia University, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and two venture funds. A Review Panel of experts from the biopharma industry, life science venture investors, and academic scientists will review, evaluate and provide recommendations to ESD on submitted applications. Additionally, panel members will draw upon their collective experience in these related fields to provide mentorship and guidance to the awardees. 

Empire State Development Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner Kevin Younis said, "As we continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, New York is even more committed to the growth and success of the state's life science industry. The Biodefense Commercialization Fund is a critical investment that seeks to turn the scientific research being conducted across the state into cutting edge treatments and medical solutions to ensure that New York is ready to respond to infectious disease threats in the future."   

Read the full press release here.