The North Bay can be a productive growth medium for biotechnology and life sciences companies, but it needs investment dollars, both public and private, and talent, say area officials working to grow the industry.
“For us, the goal is how to use data to attract more bio/life science firms and researchers to the North Bay, as well as how to retain those who have chosen to come here,” said Jim Cordeiro, CEO of San Rafael-based Marin Economic Forum.
He, along with a host of other life science industry leaders, attended the 2016 BIO International Convention in San Francisco in June, where the consensus was that this industry is complicated — and not good at communicating its core messages.
Founded in 2012, Marin Economic Forum is a nonprofit organization that collects, analyzes and disseminates information that affects local businesses while also collaborating with communities in which their employees reside. Industries targeted include biological and life sciences, agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing.
“Our goals include building greater collaboration and communication by integrating information technology into life sciences,” Cordeiro said. “This involves the use of good story-telling techniques to create an emotional connection to engage the imagination and communicate what science is all about in basic terms.”
The process begins with identifying the types of research being done today at the Buck Institute in Novato and other North Bay life science firms, as well as within the University of California system. Finding out what the life science industry wants is the first step leading to attracting capital and talent matching those needs.
“Life sciences start with capital for essential research, and there is local and private capital here for generating initial research, before seeking venture capital,” Cordeiro said. “At the same time, measurable metrics are required, as well as a strategic plan for utilizing data being collected.”
He said the end result will be a series of “product potential” models the forum can sell to life sciences firms, the community and investors going forward, as part of his organization’s plan to establish mechanisms for gaining funding support.
1,000 MORE JOBS
Cordeiro’s plans for the forum include establishing a firm connection between increasing economic development and job growth in life sciences, including a related goal to add 1,000 more life sciences jobs in Marin by 2020.
Read more at the North Bay Business Journal