--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--
September 7, 2010
Contact: Tatiana Brailovskaya, Director of Communications, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences; (207) 633-9633; cell: (207) 441-0650; email@example.com
BIGELOW LABORATORY BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW OCEAN CAMPUS
EAST BOOTHBAY, ME -- Bigelow Laboratory began to build a permanent home for global ocean research on the Maine coast at noon today with a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new Bigelow Center for Blue Biotechnology (BCBB). The BCBB is the first building on the Laboratory’s 64-acre ocean research and education campus in East Boothbay. More than two hundred people joined U.S. Senator Susan Collins for the ceremony and attended the program that followed at Shipbuilders’ Park on the town’s working waterfront.
“This is the first step in ensuring that world-class, leading edge ocean research will be part of Maine’s innovation economy, creating jobs and helping to harness the ocean’s enormous potential to benefit society,” said Bigelow Laboratory Executive Director Graham Shimmield.
Support from U.S. Senator Susan Collins led to an award of $1.46 million toward acquisition of the East Boothbay property from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in 2005. Another $2 million in private contributions helped to complete the purchase and begin planning for the new campus.
When fully completed, the Ocean Science and Education campus will provide over 70,000 square feet of laboratory, education, and administrative space, replacing the Laboratory’s current leased facilities in West Boothbay Harbor.
In addition to the BCBB, plans for facilities on the campus include a Center for Ocean Health, a Center for Ocean Biogeochemistry and Climate Change, an administrative wing with a public auditorium, a shore facility and dock, education facilities, and housing for students and visiting scientists.
Sixteen out of 64 acres of the property will be developed to environmentally sustainable, LEED Gold Standard; the rest will be preserved as wildlife habitat, wetlands, and open space, including over a mile of public walking trails. The Town of Boothbay Planning Board granted full approval of the site master plan by unanimous vote on June 16, 2010.
Speaking at the Shipbuilders’ Park waterfront, Boothbay Town Manager John Anderson extended a warm welcome to the Laboratory. “On behalf of the Town of Boothbay and the Board of Selectmen, we welcome Bigelow to our community with open arms and look forward to a continued positive relationship for many years to come,” he said. “We’re very excited to see this partnership come to fruition.”
In June 2009, the Laboratory received $4.45 million from the Maine Technology Asset Fund to build the BCBB, catalyzing plans for the new campus. This was the largest individual award in the second round of funding from the $50 million research, development, and commercialization bond approved by Maine voters in 2007.
“The Bigelow Center for Blue Biotechnology is a terrific example of how Maine bond funds are building on our research excellence, leveraging new investment, creating opportunities for new commercial activity, and creating and sustaining good jobs across Maine,” said Betsy Biemann, President of the Maine Technology Institute.
The BCBB will house the world's first microbial single cell genomics facility, a state-of-the-art flow cytometry laboratory, a bioreactor facility, and the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for the Culture of Marine Phytoplankton (CCMP). The largest such collection in the world, the CCMP has been designated as the nation’s official marine phytoplankton collection by the U.S. Congress. The BCBB is expected to catalyze significant economic growth and provide new jobs in the state’s science and technology sectors. The Laboratory anticipates occupying the BCBB in November 2011.
“By providing access to frontline research at the laboratory, the BCBB will foster collaboration with the private sector and facilitate partnerships with companies in the pharmaceutical, aquaculture, environmental impact assessment, analytical instrument, and biofuels industries,” said David Coit, Chair of the Laboratory’s Board of Trustees.
An analysis conducted by the Lincoln County Economic Development Office projects that, over the next five years, activities at the BCBB will lead to new patents, intellectual property licensing, product development, and the creation of startup companies, attracting approximately $34 million in new money to the state.
An internationally known global ocean research center since 1974, research at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences ranges from microbial oceanography to large-scale biogeochemical processes that drive interactions between ocean ecosystems and global environmental conditions. This work has taken Bigelow scientists around the world to every ocean and the polar seas. Photo by Greg Bernard. ####