Just what is The Bioplex?
The Bioplex is a place where industry, academia, federal government, and state and local government come together to:
- Share technology
- Facilitate technology's transfer into manufacturing
- Improve educational resources
- Take responsibility for contributing to a larger collaboration to bring the biomedical sciences to bear on problems facing Americans, and to do so with the utmost concern for consumer health and safety, environmental protection, and public welfare.
Where is The Bioplex?
Although it is important to have a home base, The Bioplex is a philosophical entity that extends beyond physical boundaries. Those who wish to participate in the underlying philosophy regardless of physical location are welcome.
Having said that, the home base is on approximately 1,500 acres of land that was deeded to The Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County by the Pine Bluff Arsenal in 2001.
Situated adjacent to these 1,500 acres is the FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research, the FDA's Arkansas Regional Laboratory, and the Army's Pine Bluff Arsenal. Other important academic and biomedical science institutions are located nearby in Little Rock and Pine Bluff.
How do I get to The Bioplex?
Take I-530 to the NCTR/Jefferson Exit #24. Proceed east via an s-shaped road for about a mile to a stop sign. Turn left onto Hwy 365 for about another mile or less, and take a right on the NCTR Rd. You will immediately cross a railroad track, then proceed for 5-1/2 miles to the NCTR access road on the right. The Bioplex "Site A" is located directly to the right of the first guard station off of the NCTR access road.
What does The Bioplex have to offer?
- The knowledge of over 100 Ph.D. cutting-edge scientists conducting fundamental research within the FDA system
- The experience of working with drug approval and clinical investigations processes
- The Army's expertise remediating toxic chemical exposures and training to protect against exposure to them
- A university program with a very good medical school with a strong program in toxicology
- A strong and respected children's hospital with a research capability
- Local universities that are committed to work positively with all participants
- A population with a strong work ethic
- The availability of inexpensive land
- A unique desire of all of the above to work together, with industry, to find more efficient and thus more profitable means of addressing critical problems facing bioscience today.
What will The Bioplex look like in 20 years?
The 1,500 acres will be fully developed because industry will have realized there are opportunities to turn knowledge into significant profits.
The cooperation between the entities is unusual by today's standards. Privacy and trade secrets are still protected, but cooperative agreements and licensing agreements will have created a symbiotic relationship.
The federal government is present, but many of the tasks previously conducted by the government are now performed by industry. One focus of government is to continuously search its activities as well as those of others to find bits of knowledge that can be turned over to private industry for commercialization.
Some of the early work in developing the capability for protection of the civilian population against terrorist attacks continues to be the model for The Bioplex operation:
- Government pulls together the knowledge, often through its own research, then turns that knowledge over to industry where products are manufactured and distributed.
- Early products included protective clothing, hazard identification kits, medical fast-response kits, vaccines, and antidotes.
- Later these were spin-offs into broader product lines in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and laboratory equipment.
- Academicians are full partners in the effort, and each entity--via both distance learning and on-site student employment, seminars, and classes--participates in local education.
How is The Bioplex managed?
- The Alliance created a non-profit subsidiary, run by a board elected by participants to manage the effort.
- There are prescribed slots for industry, academia, federal government and local government.
- Land is leased indefinitely to the tenant so long as the tenant shall conform to the by-laws of The Bioplex.
- The Bioplex by-laws protect the founding philosophy of protection of health, environment, and supporting education.