NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Max Planck Society plans to open a biomedical research institute in West Palm Beach, Fla., to be called the Max Planck Florida Institute, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County said Wednesday.
The county has approved $86.9 million in funding to help build and run the 100,000-square-foot facility, which the BDB said it will break ground on in around 18 months. In the spring of 2009, the institute will move into its temporary facilities at Florida Atlantic University’s MacArthur campus in Jupiter.
Including funding from FAU, the total value of the agreement is $94 million, and it includes a 50-year sub-lease on land valued at around $6 million.
The Florida Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development agreed in March to unlock a total of $94 million from the state’s Innovation Incentive Fund, of which it has disbursed $10 million so far.
The Max Planck Florida Institute will collaborate with nearby Scripps Florida on health-oriented research, and it will establish relationships with Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach Community College, and other universities in the region.
Max Planck Society President Peter Gruss said the Palm Beach area is ideal “because of our synergy with Scripps, and the proven commitment of the county and the community to enhance the life sciences sector.”
The new institute “plans to advance the world’s knowledge of bioimaging by using advanced techniques to study the molecular process,” according to the BDB’s statement.
“When we achieve a deeper understanding of the structure, dynamics and function of molecules and tissues, we can then address some of the most challenging problems in biology, bioengineering and medicine,” Gruss added.
BDB CEO Kelly Smallridge said in the statement that the research organization will directly or indirectly support the creation of over 1,800 jobs over the coming 20 years, and it will generate over $2 billion in economic activity.