Los Angeles County has launched an initiative to grow the region’s bioscience industry cluster. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors selected the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation to lead a diverse coalition of bioscience-related stakeholders, including SCVEDC, in the development of an implementation plan for the region’s bioscience industry cluster.
The goal of this action plan is to create skilled jobs and build capacity by leveraging our region’s resources in innovation, R&D, talent development, physical and real estate assets, and all stages of financing to foster significant growth in the bioscience industry in the Los Angeles County region.
Selection of this coalition of stakeholders is the most recent step in an ongoing process to accelerate development of the Biosciences industry cluster, which has been championed by LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas recently toured the SCV-based Mann Biomedical Park and Boston Scientific, which manufactures its neuromodulation pain management device in the park.
The coalition will look at the entire bioscience ecosystem in the Los Angeles County region to develop an actionable plan to grow the biosciences industry here. The scope of the plan will include strategies to leverage the university/medical center-based training and research assets across the County, engage investment and entrepreneurial communities in a cohesive way, and identify several specific physical sites in LA County where industry cluster facilities can be developed.
[Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas] – The Board of Supervisors took another step towards expanding Los Angeles County’s bioscience industry, calling for an implementation plan in three months.
Supervisors authorized Tuesday a contract between the County’s Community Development Commission (CDC) and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) to craft a strategy that would create thousands of jobs while encouraging scientific innovation.
“Los Angeles County is uniquely positioned to become a national leader in the bioscience industry,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Right now, however, much of our local research and talent is exported to other regions, such as San Diego, San Francisco and Boston.”
“We must reverse that trend and work towards creating local bioscience hubs in our own hospital campuses,” he said.
Modern biotechnology is a growing field of science developing products and technologies to combat rare diseases, improve the environment, reduce world hunger and establish a cleaner energy footprint.
From 2001 to 2010, Los Angeles County’s bioscience industry grew almost 12 percent, outpacing the national bioscience industry, and acting as an economic driver during the Great Recession. However, the County is losing talent to other thriving biotech job markets due to the lack of venture capital investment and a limited real estate market for commercial lab space.
Acting on a motion by Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe in February 2011, the Board commissioned the Battelle Memorial Institute to identify opportunities for potential private, academic and research partnerships at each of the County’s hospital campuses.
Battelle issued a report in August 2014 that recommended establishing three to five bioscience hubs at the County’s hospital campuses, including Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Olive View Medical Center, and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.
CDC Executive Director Sean Rogan said Tuesday he looked forward to working with LAEDC and consultants BioCom, BioAccel and Regional Technology Strategies on an implementation plan.
“We have an opportunity to do for bioscience in Los Angeles County what the tech industry did for Silicon Valley,” he testified before the Board. “We are looking at growing the bioscience industry cluster with thousands of high-value and high-wage jobs for every level of job seeker, from skilled machinist and technician, to research scientist and engineer.”
LAEDC chief executive officer Bill Allen added, “Our Los Angeles County Supervisors are investing in job creation by approving the development of an implementation plan, and we wholly endorse this well-considered strategy of industry cluster development.”