NYC Innovation Campus Unites Life Sciences Professionals On The Cutting Edge
New York is in a science state of mind. By consistently generating investments, initiatives, jobs and graduates, its life sciences and healthcare ecosystem is quickly joining the ranks of the best in the United States.
More than $3.89B in investments by the New York State, New York City and public and private sources fueled this enterprise, according to Empire State Development.
One company committed to establishing New York’s scientific prominence is Cure, a healthcare innovation campus designed by global architecture, design and planning firm Gensler. Located at 345 Park Avenue South in New York City’s Flatiron District, Cure features labs, offices, event spaces, tools, mentoring and networking that foster collaboration for healthcare innovators.
“We want to be at the nexus of healthcare innovation,” Cure CEO Seema Kumar said. “Our reach and goals go way beyond our campus. The Cure environment promotes the free exchange of ideas at the intersection of disciplines, sectors and geographies.”
She said that the campus’ convenient physical space and a soon-to-be-launched digital platform and ecosystem help the company shape the future of healthcare by incubating ideas, convening thought leaders, driving collaboration and educating the next generation of innovators.
Bisnow spoke with Kumar to discuss the qualities that make New York City a great location for life sciences discoveries. She also discussed how Cure’s building, amenities and initiatives help with fueling life sciences and healthcare development.
Bisnow: Why is New York City an ideal location for life sciences development?
Kumar: New York City is at the precipice of a wonderfully positive transformation to strengthen its leadership in life sciences and healthcare. We have all the ingredients to make the city a real hub for innovation. We have a plethora of universities, medical centers and hospitals that house a huge intellectual capital and healthcare workforce, a thriving tech corridor, and robust financial capital. As a result, the region is a haven for entrepreneurs as well as innovators, like those marrying biology and artificial intelligence, who can see their work make a positive impact on outcomes and help shape the future of the innovation landscape.
Bisnow: How do Cure’s building features and amenity offerings help foster a productive and collaborative environment?
Kumar: Cure was purpose-built as a healthcare innovation campus with state-of-the-science features that make it best-in-class in the marketplace. It is conveniently located in the Flatiron District approximately 15 minutes from Penn Station and 20 minutes from Grand Central Terminal.
Our building has wet labs, dry labs, office space, an education and conference center, and event spaces. Our campus is home to more than 20 startups and established companies focused on developing drugs, devices, tests and improved care. Our ecosystem has medical technology, healthcare services, therapeutics, healthcare investment, academic research and nonprofit initiatives.
Together, our residents are creating innovations and working on providing the greatest possible access to them. One of our newest residents is Wandercraft, which is developing exoskeletons to help people with walking impairments stand and move.
We also are building the “Lab of the Future,” which a $25M Empire State Development grant helps support. The lab will create a new molecular industrial revolution, automating research by leveraging AI, machine learning and robotics to improve the speed, precision and cost-efficiencies of experiments in drug development.
Cure’s amenities are a one-stop shop for people who want to convene and collaborate. We have a cafeteria that also provides catering for bespoke events, like lunchtime investor meetings, educational conferences or planning summits. Our AV production studio and business solution services are available for residents and partners. We also offer a gym for residents.
If an organization wants to hold an event in our spaces, such as a seminar, a town hall or even a wine tasting for key stakeholders, we take care of everything while also connecting them with some of the top leaders in healthcare from different sectors.
Bisnow: Can you explain more about how the Cure Xchange Challenge can spur further innovation in healthcare and life sciences?
Kumar: We are looking forward to some remarkable new residents joining us in early 2024. They are the winners of the Cure Xchange Challenge: Health AI for Good, named as such because it’s an exchange of ideas, space and intellect to drive a common purpose.
We asked entrepreneurs and innovators to submit their boldest and brightest ideas to transform healthcare by applying AI to a problem needing a novel approach to solve. The applications blew me away.
We worked with MIT Solve to operationalize the challenge, and our advisory board of eminent people in biology, AI and computation reviewed the submissions to select 10 finalists. They have solutions focused on kidney disease, heart disease, cancer and fetal health, as well as on helping develop cell and gene therapies, repurposing existing drugs for new uses and helping patients access care.
We plan to announce the winners in February. They will receive a one-year residency at Cure, seed money, mentorship and access to our resources and network to help them move their ideas forward.
Bisnow: What does Cure’s five-year plan look like?
Kumar: We have a period after our logo because our overall vision is to cure, period. We have a really bold vision to advance healthcare, with the ultimate goal of having Cure members work together on the higher purpose of creating cures.
At the end of five years, we’re aiming to fulfill the dreams of entrepreneurs, fuel breakthroughs, drive economic growth and advance healthcare in New York City and globally.
We want to create that hive that makes the region as vibrant as other innovation hubs worldwide, including Boston and San Francisco — the top U.S. life sciences markets. We aspire to be the healthcare innovation inspiration for others, wherever they may be. While Cure is located in New York City, we want to have a global impact.
To reach this goal, I think about Cure’s four Cs. First, we focus on community building through our virtual and physical events, such as our Tuesday Talks, at which our community can listen to top leaders talk about the hottest topics in health innovation.
The second C of Cure is collaboration. No one institution can innovate for health alone, so we want to bring experts together to attain some key goals about helping cure what ails us.
Our third C is Cure’s content. We want to bring forth content that adds value through insights, ideas and knowledge. We want to emphasize conversations between experts and learners. For example, we might help academic-based scientists learn how to commercialize their discoveries or help a startup develop a solid path to scale up to a larger company, such as moving from prototype to production. We also want to help all members of the life science sector realize their full potential as leaders.
Cure’s fourth C is about convening. We want to bring together the who’s who in life sciences to create outcomes-driven initiatives. If we bring the best minds together, we will advance health worldwide.
By delivering on these four Cs, Cure can pursue its ultimate goal of having our ecosystem members work together on the higher purpose of cures.