Past EventNM’S BIOSCIENCE INDUSTRY TAKES CENTER STAGE

Registration Fees: NMBio Members — $10, Non-Members — $25

The just released GrowBio report, Growing The Future — Developing New Mexico’s Bioscience Industry, reveals a statewide industry that accounts for 41,000 direct and indirect jobs or 7 percent of all private sector jobs. Its workforce is almost twice the size of the state’s aerospace and photonics sectors. In addition to spurring the growth of high wage, family sustaining jobs, the report estimates that the industry’s 700 companies generated $1.2 billion in revenue in 2015.

The strategic building blocks for NM’s future are many, including a strong university research base with the UNM’s Health Sciences Center (HSC) leading the state in bioscience research activity. Other NM universities’ research contributions continue to increase as bioscience-dedicated programs expand annually. NM benefits from a significant pool of intellectual property being developed at its six major research institutions: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, the Air Force Research Laboratory, UNM, NMSU and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Collectively, they submit more than 1,000 patent applications a year; bioscience-related patents have claimed the largest number of awarded patents over the past five  years.

New Mexico’s funding landscape now includes a diverse collection of grants, seed investors, philanthropic support, venture capitalists and private equity funds. The concentration of available capital is for early stage investment in a company’s development. The study notes that more effort is required to increase the amount of late and growth-stage investment capital.

Our featured luncheon speaker is Dr. Richard Larson, Executive Vice Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of Research, UNM Health Sciences Center. He launched the GrowBio initiative in partnership with Dale Dekker, a founding principal and architect at Dekker/Perich/Sabatini. In his overview on the industry, Dr. Larson will identify, discuss and advance strategies to increase awareness and support for New Mexico’s bioscience sector among public decision-makers, capital investors, and economic development professionals.

Going forward, there are many challenges the sector must overcome if it is going to be competitive with neighboring states, such as greater access to public and private capital and the need to reduce taxes on both angel and venture capital investment. The nation’s top tier states for bioscience innovation and growth have relied on long-term financial commitments and dedicated sources of funding from their state legislatures. New Mexico, as we all know, has seen its revenues decimated by the loss of tax revenues from the oil and mining sectors. Working together, what next steps can the public and private sectors take to nurture the bioscience community’s long-term growth?

Exploring the financial hurdle and other challenges that must be overcome is an all-star panel of bioscience leaders and successful entrepreneurs, including Stuart Rose, Founder of The BioScience Center, David S. Joseph, President and CEO of Avisa Pharma, Dr. Daniel Howard, Executive Vice President and Provost, NMSU, and Terry Dunlay, President and CEO of IntelliCyt. Lisa Kuuttila, CEO and Chief Economic Development Officer STC.UNM will serve as moderator. 

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