Imagine a total artificial heart that keeps you alive when your heart can’t, or diagnostic tools that help doctors identify disease early so that they can treat it early and get better results. Envision pacemakers about the size of your pinky nail or therapies that alleviate pain or combat the deadliest of diseases. Can we develop new agricultural products that can drive new industries and help the planet too? This is not a wish list for “someday.” These are just a few of the innovations that are being produced by Arizona’s bioscience industry today.
BIO IS LIFE
The life sciences focus on living things. So, if it’s alive, was alive or keeps things alive, it’s bio.
Arizona is home to one of the fastest growing, emerging bioscience industries in the country thanks to a concerted effort by leaders from across the state that is supported by the Flinn Foundation and the unflagging efforts of innovative companies from Flagstaff to Tucson and points in between. The Arizona Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, more than 100 leaders from philanthropy, industry, government, and academia, work together to map out objectives, establish programs, and measure progress. They’ve been guiding the process since 2002, making this collaborative effort the nation’s longest running bioscience industry development project.
BUILDING ON THE 3 D’S
It just is not here in Arizona at the needed levels yet. This means innovators must waste time traveling to “follow the money” and sometimes relocate to receive it. Unless Arizona resolves its investment capital crisis in a meaningful way and at bioscience scale, the benefits of our discovery will be realized elsewhere. Delivery — taking products to market and gaining market acceptance — is the final step. All the discovery and development in the world will mean little if there is not a final benefit for customers, patients, and investors. Delivery requires still higher levels of investment and a labor force that can support it.
Arizona’s success in biosciences to date has been derived through collaborative efforts, strategic investment in research facilities and talent, innovators committed to bringing new life saving and life sustaining products to market, and partnerships between philanthropy, industry, government, and academia. Success comes through deliberate actions and activities. Here are just a few that will happen in 2014:
• June 19, 2014 – Exciting Arizona based companies and innovations will be showcased at the 2014 AZBio Expo, with speakers including the leader of one of Arizona’s most respected medical device manufactures and the CEO of Insys Therapeutics, the top performing biotech IPO of 2013. Learn more at AZBioExpo.Com.
• Aug 20-21, 2014 – Program mangers from the National Science Foundation and the Nation Institutes of Health will travel to Arizona and provide insights on how to best access Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants.
• September 17-18, 2014 – Arizona will host companies from across the Rocky Mountain and Southwest region and life science specific investors at the First Annual White Hat Life Science Investor conference in Phoenix. Learn more at WhiteHatInvestors.com.