Advances in bioscience have touched the lives of nearly every person on the planet. Advancements continue to improve the quality of life worldwide, whether it’s through genetic engineering, molecular biology and agricultural biotechnology, or more tangible advancements such as antibiotics, vaccines and clean water. Without a doubt, bioscience has changed the way mankind lives in the modern world and has helped in improving the majority of the population’s general health.
The Greater Phoenix region is a fast-growing, powerful hub for the bioscience industry. Since the launch of the Flinn Foundation’s Bioscience Roadmap in 2002, Arizona has achieved what many states have taken more than 40 years to accomplish. The Arizona Bioscience Roadmap continues to make great strides in positioning our state as globally competitive and a national leader in select areas of the biosciences by 2025.
Multi-organizational collaborations between local companies such as HonorHealth, TGen and Celgene are changing the way they treat cancer with a personalized approach. The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and BioAccel are moving research and concepts into commercialized products. Companies like Pinnacle Transplant Technologies and Visiongate are bringing new ideas to market and are putting Phoenix on the map as a bioscience hub.
Bioscience is an important economic development driver and a key industry for Phoenix Forward and for many cities and chambers throughout the Greater Phoenix region. I am proud to work with these bioscience trailblazers on the Phoenix Forward Bioscience Leadership Council to harness the region’s unique strengths in bioscience, develop strategies to better connect research and talent, and foster the growth of early stage companies. Collectively, the Bioscience Leadership Council is strengthening business-to-business connectivity and engagement, improving the talent pipeline, improving commercialization and tech-transfer processes and increasing access to capital.
Phoenix Union Bioscience High School is preparing tomorrow’s scientists by providing an innovative learning environment. Integrated, hands-on experiences focusing on a science-based education are building a strong talent pipeline for the bioscience industry. In addition, the Phoenix Biomedical Campus’ one-of-a-kind collaboration between all three state universities, several hospitals and TGen has a $1.3 billion economic impact. It is great to see that Arizona’s bioscience companies, organizations and educational institutions are not only thriving, but also being recognized for their world-class research, clinical-trial successes and cutting-edge treatments.
This promising field provides economic opportunities to not only the state, but to a talented mix of students, researchers, innovators and thought leaders.
This innovation trajectory must continue, however. It is vital to continue to promote bioscience research and to nurture the innovative bioscience companies that have planted roots here by facilitating mutually beneficial collaborations and leveraging available resources.
If you don’t know much about Arizona’s bioscience sector, this is the week to find out. The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) will be hosting Arizona Bioscience week with lots of great ways to learn about one of Arizona’s most important industries.
Written by Jennifer Mellor, vice president of economic development at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.