The Evolution of Life Science Incubator Spaces

Matt Merli, Fitzemeyer & Tocci Associates, Inc.

Over the past decade there has been an evolution of ways to combat the lack of availability and high cost of laboratory real estate around life science hub cities (such as Cambridge and Boston). One approach has been to move well outside the city. Many companies, small and large, have subsequently gravitated to the suburbs, for more affordable real estate and employee life style benefits. Additionally, developers have been creating a more collaborative incubator space model to accommodate several companies under one roof, mimicking a ‘shared-space' model that has been seen in the commercial office market. The trend of Life Sciences Incubators has been steadily growing in recent years and really lends itself to be a more affordable launchpad for startups. This has led to great opportunity and affordability, but also has unique challenges to the architectural, engineering and construction teams that are helping create these spaces.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the new age of incubator spaces and how they are moving to the suburbs;
  • Identify the challenges to architects, engineers and contractors that are helping create these spaces;
  • Describe the shared space laboratory concept that is being seen in the commercial office market that is now moving to the laboratory market; and
  • Understand the benefits this concept has to life sciences companies employees.


Matt serves as the overall supervisor of the project and the primary contact to clients throughout project development. He understands all phases of a particular project, coordinating closely with the entire project team. Matt ensures that all client requirements are met by developing a strong client relationship, from project inception through construction closeout. He has extensive experience in mechanical investigation as well as the the design & construction for laboratory facilities.


Note: I2SL did not edit or revise abstract or biography text. Abstracts and biographies are displayed as submitted by the author(s).