If you’ve ever taken a COVID-19 test in New York City, it’s highly likely your sample was processed by one of the machines at the Pandemic Response Lab.
Since last September, Opentrons, a company that builds robots for biologists, has been processing COVID-19 tests for the New York City Health + Hospitals system.
“New York has a rapidly growing life science ecosystem that has enabled businesses like ourselves to grow quite rapidly,” said Jonathan Brennan-Badal, CEO of Opentrons — Pandemic Response Lab.
So rapidly that the lab recently moved from Midtown East in Manhattan to a new building in Long Island City that wants to attract companies in the life sciences sector.
Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city sees life sciences as key to its economic recovery.
“Beyond all our traditional industries, beyond the tech community that has grown so successfully in New York City, we need to build up life sciences. This is the future,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news briefing on June 9.
That month, de Blasio doubled the city’s investment in this sector: $1 billion in the hopes of attracting new businesses, capital and jobs.