NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - South Africa’s first integrated proteomics and genomic center officially opened last week, providing what officials hope will be a catalyst for the nation’s biotechnology industry.
Launched in 2006, the Center for Proteomic and Genomic Research has been busy handling several projects in the 18 months since becoming operational. In the meantime, it also has been refining its business model to bring in more revenues, and is looking at a possible conversion to for-profit status.
The center was created in order to raise interest in biotechnology research in the region and fuel more genomics and proteomics research. While that remains a core focus, the center has also been evaluating its business model and determined that in order to fulfill its mission and maintain viability, it needed to increase its revenue stream and expand its geographic reach, Jonathan Blackburn, research director proteomics at the center, told GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication ProteoMonitor this week.
The center remains a non-profit and will continue to operate as such for the immediate future, but that could change very quickly, he said.
The center is taking a wait-and-see approach to determine whether becoming a for-profit would be the best strategy, “but if this revised model is successful, and I’m sure it will be, then we will become a for-profit company before you know it,” he added.
Another option would be to keep CPGR as a non-profit while spinning out for-profit companies as separate entities. Before making any decision, CPGR officials will look at revised revenue and profit projections. The plan was to get the center self-sustainable after four years, but at the present pace, it is on track to do so this year, two years ahead of schedule.
A comprehensive article on the CPGR appears in today's issue of ProteoMonitor.