The Life Sciences Infrastructure Initiative

New York, NY, USA

The New York City Economic Development Corporation commissioned Buro Happold to produce a long-term infrastructure strategy for New York City’s life sciences R&D sector.


Although New York City currently has many assets which could attract and support the life sciences industry – including top universities and medical facilities, as well as many Nobel Prize winning researchers – the city currently lacks available and affordable lab space. Because of this, much of the major contributions to life sciences and many of the life sciences start-ups within the US remain in cities like Boston, San Francisco and San Diego.

Our objectives were to understand and define current and future states of the city’s physical provision for the study of life sciences, and to support the launch of the Life Sciences Infrastructure Initiative by finding opportunities to foster and retain life sciences business.


As part of the development of the strategy, we undertook detailed economic, industry and real estate analyses of the life sciences sector so that we could align our policy recommendations with market realities. Initially, we undertook a benchmarking study to help us assess the driving factors of life sciences clusters across the country. We then performed a space-based demand and scenario analysis to gain insight into realistic baseline and aspirational growth scenarios for the industry within the city.

Our work then addressed the physical space needed to support a thriving life sciences industry. We carried out physical and financial assessments of a range of prospective sites across New York City, and calculated design, cost and construction parameters to determine feasibility for each.


The work we have carried out on this project will prove vital to facilitating the growth of the life sciences industry in New York. By setting out a clear strategy for the development of the sector in the short, medium and long term, we have been able to identify and maximise opportunities to raise the city’s status as a global R&D hub. This, in turn, will lead to the creation of a stable and growing job market.

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