Financing & Incentives

LifeSci NYC

A $500 million investment will establish New York City as the leader in life sciences innovation and R&D, expected to create nearly 16,000 new jobs—many accessible to New Yorkers without an advanced degree. To learn more about LifeSci NYC, visit


New York City will strengthen the life sciences ecosystem by launching 10 strategic initiatives and public-private partnerships through three key areas:

  • Connecting Research to Industry, Creating Jobs, and Advancing Health Care and Technology
  • Unlocking Space for Companies to Grow and Employ New Yorkers
  • Building a Pipeline for Diverse Life Sciences Talent

Connecting Research to Industry, Creating Jobs, and Advancing Healthcare and Technology

1.  Invest $100 million to create a new Applied Life Sciences Hub. The de Blasio administration will provide funding to create a world-class facility that drives bioengineering innovations, research and development (R&D) partnerships, and entrepreneurial training. The hub will serve as an institutional anchor for the life sciences industry, much as Cornell Tech serves as an anchor for applied sciences and engineering.

2.  Provide $50 million to expand the network of life sciences R&D facilities. To remain at the forefront of the innovative research that leads to new businesses, the administration will make targeted investments in New York City’s existing academic medical centers and research institutions. The City will provide $50 million in capital to a network of up to eight nonprofit research facilities to help create new workspaces for research with a high potential for commercialization and job growth.

Unlocking Space for Companies to Grow and Employ New Yorkers

3.  Commit $300 million in tax incentives to attract investment in commercial lab space for life sciences businesses. The comparatively high cost of lab construction has resulted in a shortage of space for new life sciences companies. By deferring some of that cost, the City will unlock affordable lab space for growing companies that provide accessible, middle-class jobs for New Yorkers.

4.  Invest $10 million to expand the network of incubators for life sciences startup facilities. To provide affordable space for the next generation of life sciences startups, the City will invest in up to five new incubator and innovation centers, with the first expected to open early 2019. Incubators will be located near existing research centers to better support innovators and connect skilled workers with jobs.

5.  Modernize land-use policies to encourage new space for life sciences firms. To more than double the potential areas for life sciences jobs, the administration has clarified regulations—Clarification Memo: Life Sciences in Commercial Zoning Districts—to make explicit that lab space for life sciences R&D is permitted in any commercial zone. The administration will also leverage upcoming rezonings to include life sciences sites where appropriate.

Building a Pipeline for Diverse Life Sciences Talent

6.  Invest $7.5 million to create internships and life sciences curricula. In 2018, the City launched an innovative summer internship program that will connect eligible college and graduate students each year with unique opportunities at New York City’s leading life sciences companies and institutions. Ranging from early-stage startups to large pharmaceutical and biotech firms, organizations that have hosted interns in the past include Deerfield Management, Envisagenics, New York Stem Cell Foundation, Flatiron Health, Pfizer, Roivant Sciences, and other well-known companies based in the New York City area. The City will also provide funding to support the development of new tailored curricula and skills training for local colleges and universities, based on input from real employers, to prepare the next generation of life sciences talent.

7.  Commit $20 million in matching funds to support early-stage businesses. Young life sciences startups require significant levels of risk capital, and even growing companies can struggle to secure the working capital they need. By committing $20 million in seed and growth funding—and seeking matching funds from private sources—the City will help spur the growth of up to 80 companies, which will help them expand and create new jobs for New Yorkers.

8.  Provide $7.5 million to create a Life Sciences Management Corps. The City will provide financing to life sciences startups to help them secure experienced entrepreneurs to help launch and grow their businesses in New York City. These entrepreneurs will be committed to growing companies, cultivating new talent, and creating good and accessible jobs in the five boroughs.

9.  Provide $3.8 million to expand training programs for entrepreneurs. The administration will provide funding to expand and improve two successful programs, serving up to 50 companies a year. First, NYCEDC will expand its Bio and Health Tech Entrepreneurship Lab (ELabNYC) with the new curriculum in areas such as corporate commercialization and project management. Second, the City will expand the SBIR Impact program, which helps life sciences firms compete for funding through the National Institute of Health’s Small Business Innovation Research program.

10.  Launch the mayor’s Life Sciences Advisory Council. The Life Sciences Advisory Council, with experts from academia, industry, philanthropy, and finance, advises the City of New York on its life sciences programs. The council works with the administration to promote New York as a global center for life sciences.

Advisory Council

To help lead this important initiative, Mayor de Blasio also announced the launch of the Mayor’s Life Sciences Advisory Council, a world-class team of experts from academia, industry, philanthropy, and finance, that advises the City of New York on the scope of its life sciences programs. The advisory council is co-chaired by Doctors Harold Varmus and Vicki Sato. Dr. Varmus is a Nobel Laureate and former director of both the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. He currently serves as a professor at Weill Cornell Medicine and as a senior associate at the New York Genome Center. Dr. Sato is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School as well as a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at Harvard University. She previously served as president of Vertex Pharmaceuticals.


We encourage you to review these documents carefully, as each will contain distinct information related to the scope of service, scheduled site visits, Q&As, and submission deadlines. Applicants should respond in reasonable detail to all of the requirements outlined in their RFP, RFQ, RFEI, or IFB.

  • LifeSci NYC Translational R&D Facilities RFP (coming soon)



As part of a major new initiative to grow jobs in the life sciences sector, LifeSci NYC, the City is looking to increase the supply of commercial life sciences space.

LifeSci NYC includes a program of benefits administered by New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) to help achieve this target through incentivizing the development of privately owned sites.

NYCIDA programs are discretionary and provide companies with tax benefits to acquire or create capital assets. Specifically, NYCIDA can offer benefits through real estate tax reductions, waiver of mortgage recording taxes, and sales and use tax exemptions; these benefits can be provided under different terms and structures depending on the project.

The available benefits are a combination of real estate tax reductions, mortgage recording tax waiver, and sales and use tax exemptions.

Each proposed project will be evaluated on a number of key parameters, including:

  • Jobs and economic impact
  • Size of development
  • Benefits per square foot
  • Term of leases to tenants
  • Ratio of laboratory space to office space
  • Rents offered to tenants
  • Current usage of the development
  • Anchor tenant/partnership
  • Location
  • Project timing

Landlords and developers should, in their proposals, respond with a specific property that will partly or in its entirety, and as a result of the incentive, be brought to market as a life sciences asset. For additional incentives and financing information, or to start an application, visit the IDA Life Sciences Program page.

News & Updates