LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Governing Board of the Southern California Biomedical Council (SoCalBio) has passed a unanimous resolution endorsing the recent Battelle Technology Partnership Study and its proposed Master Plan for Growing the Biosciences in Los Angeles. The full text of the plan is available on the County of Los Angeles website at http://file.lacounty.gov/bc/q3_2014/cms1_217012.pdf.
The SoCalBio resolution calls on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, local municipalities, economic development organizations and other entities with an interest in promoting the region’s bioscience industries (biotech, medtech and in-vitro diagnostics) to formally endorse the Battelle Master Plan. The resolution also urges stakeholders to support establishment of LA BIO FORWARD -- a 501 (c)(3) Joint Powers Authority (JPA) for executing the master plan.
SoCalBio and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) will host an open meeting on October 14 from 10 AM to noon at Cal State Los Angeles to present the final Battelle study findings. The meeting, titled “Connecting the Dots in L.A. County’s Biomedical Industry,” will include a discussion and call for all interested parties to join the LA BIO FORWARD JPA. More information about the October 14 meeting is available at http://bit.ly/BattellePlanMeeting.
“Time has become a critical factor as we wait for the Battelle plan to be approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors,” said Robert Greenberg, PhD, MD, chairman of SoCalBio and president/CEO of Sylmar-based Second Sight Medical Products. “Those who want to support our bioscience industry must take swift and decisive action to ensure the plan doesn’t derail due to the region’s political fragmentation and the industry’s wide geographic dispersal, both of which can hamper resource mobilization. Creating the LA BIO FORWARD JPA is our best opportunity for success.”
SoCalBio Secretary and Perkins Coie Law Firm Partner Michael Wise added, “The SoCalBio Board is confident that Battelle has generated a comprehensive, fact-based plan to develop an industry cluster that will enable our region to realize its full potential as a bioscience hub.”
As reported in the Battelle study, L.A.’s bioscience industry is a key driver of the region’s emerging knowledge economy; it is also a source of many high paying local jobs. Even during the “Great Recession,” Los Angeles County’s bioscience industry grew at a rate of 6.7 percent, while the private sector overall contracted more than 6 percent.
“It’s not just the quantity, but also the quality, of jobs that distinguish the bioscience industry,” said SoCalBio President and CEO Ahmed Enany.
Enany explained that the industry employs 42,000-plus high wage workers who earn, on average, double the salary of the average private sector worker in Los Angeles.
“Overall, the Battelle study and strategic plan share SoCalBio’s positive outlook for the L.A. region’s bioscience industry,” he added. “Our uniquely heavy focus on entrepreneurship, combined with world-class research and innovation, endow us with great growth potential.”
Battelle Study Action Steps:
To strengthen the L.A. region’s bioscience eco-system and unlock its vast potential, the Battelle study proposes the following action steps:
|1)||Accelerating commercialization via a fund of funds to address the region’s lack of startup investors.|
|2)||Overcoming the shortage of dedicated bioscience lab facilities and real estate by creating innovation hubs and providing incentives for bioscience tenant improvements.|
|3)||Building on the work of SoCalBio to improve local bioscience workforce and talent development.|
|4)||Marketing and promoting L.A.’s bioscience industry regionally, nationally and internationally.|
“The SoCalBio Board stands by the strategic priorities recommended in the Battelle plan,” said Joseph Boystak, SoCalBio board member and managing director of Santa Monica-based equity crowdfunding firm Polliwog. “Our challenge now is finding the best pathway for executing the plan so it doesn’t end up sitting on a shelf collecting dust.”
A complete list of SoCalBio Board Members is available at http://socalbio.org/leadership.htm.
Establishing the LA BIO FORWARD JPA
SoCalBio believes that an essential key to executing the Battelle plan and unlocking the region’s bioscience potential is establishment of the LA BIO FORWARD JPA, which will provide a very inclusive organizational structure to coordinate industry promotion on a region-wide scale.
The LA BIO FORWARD JPA will be governed by a board made up of representatives from the County, various municipalities and other stakeholders. It will control the plan’s execution budget and report progress to various regional stakeholders, including the City of Los Angeles and the County Board of Supervisors. It will also provide continuity, accountability and insulation from politics of the day.
SoCalBio is a nonprofit, member-supported trade association that promotes bioscience research, development, manufacturing, job creation and overall economic growth in the Greater Los Angeles region. The Council’s programs help local firms gain access to capital, potential partners and business support services. The annual SoCalBio Investor & Partnership Conference has grown to become the region's premier showcase for emerging life-science companies and technologies. SoCalBio also promotes technology transfer and workforce training, while informing policy makers and the public at-large about the benefits of the region’s life-science industry. More information about SoCalBio is available at www.socalbio.org.