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BioMed SA eyes new road map to greater economic wins
December 13, 2017

BioMed SA President Ann Stevens (Photo by Lyndsey Johnson)

By W. Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal

BioMed SA, he group charged with growing and promoting San Antonio's health care and bioscience industry, has been tasked by local economic development officials to develop a new plan that will help identify new tactics to support the creation of more companies, jobs and investment.

BioMed SA, which is working with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan to develop the plan, has completed the first phase of work. The project, which is part of a larger initiative called Forefront SA that involves the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, will include a second phase that won't be completed until next year.

The initial phase of the plan centers on two of the core areas BioMed SA determined in 2013 represent the most opportunities for San Antonio - diabetes and infectious disease. BioMed SA President Ann Stevens said a heightened focus on those areas could lead to more bioscience employment outside of traditional research and development positions. It could also generate new support from companies and industries not historically aligned with the city's bioscience sector.

So far, the multi-year planning process has included the involvement of more than 80 local, regional and national industry leaders. The second phase of the project will focus on BioMed SA's three remaining core areas of focus - cancer, neurological disorders and trauma, which includes wound healing and regenerative medicine.

The plans's development has already spawned nearly three-dozen recommendations that industry leaders believe, if adopted, could result in the relocation of more companies to San Antonio and to the additional retention and expansion of businesses already rooted in the city. Stevens believes the plan will also help ignite the development of more startups and raise San Antonio's profile nationally and internationally.

"We want to start bouncing more ideas off of our stakeholders and see what resonates," said Stevens about the development of a new strategic road map. "We want to decide together what we are going to do and how we are going to do it."

BioMed SA was established in 2005 as part of an effort by former Mayor Henry Cisneros and other San Antonio leaders to better leverage the region's health care and bioscience assets. Since then, the organization has played a key role in helping expand the industry - and in drawing more attention to its assets.

"BioMed SA has been evolving since day one," Stevens said. "This first phase will help shape our final plan in 2018."

The expectation among stakeholders is that the action plan will better identify the best way forward for BioMed SA and the city. The ultimate goal, Stevens said, is for the industry to become a more forceful economic driver.

"There could be new collaboration that comes from this that has real purpose in mind," Stevens said. "This will provide a pathway to new ideas that raise our identity."

 

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