by Linda Knopp
Forget the pencils, pens and paper clips. The storeroom at the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center in Kalamazoo, Mich., instead stocks chemicals, solvents and other scientific supplies needed by its early-stage life science clients.
Since June 2004, SMIC has provided an on-site storeroom with a variety of refrigerated, frozen and room-temperature research supplies to give clients a convenient, low-cost alternative to maintaining their own inventories. The storeroom contains supplies most frequently needed by incubator clients, so the stock varies as research projects change.
By reducing the amount of standard scientific supplies clients need to store, the program allows companies to fill their labs with the equipment and researchers they need to grow their firms. “Having an on-site storage room means that clients will be less likely to halt research due to unavailability of some scientific supply,” says Sandra Cochrane, SMIC’s chief operating officer. “By having critical supplies on site, client companies can weather the occasional missed delivery or avoid the cost of rush shipments of necessary products.”
In recognition of the cost-savings and convenience the program offers SMIC and its clients, NBIA awarded the incubator’s on-site storeroom for scientific supplies the 2006 Incubator Innovation Award.
Keywords: facility management, technology incubator
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