The end of 2020 and the start of 2021 gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past year and set our focus on future goals. Despite the many hardships everyone is enduring due to the pandemic, our association successfully launched several significant new initiatives in 2020 and many of our member firms achieved new milestones with their research. Several were recognized for their progress and rewarded with federal grants as well venture capital.
Led by Chairman Rick VanNess
, the board and I wish to congratulate everyone on their resiliency and determination throughout 2020 as well as for your continuing support of the association and its mission. We are grateful for the work being done by our members and NM’s bioscience and healthcare communities to stem the tide of this pandemic.
The vibrancy of New Mexico’s bioscience community is now being recognized by the state’s congressional delegation and elected officials to the state legislature, business and civic leaders as an economic engine for job creation. It’s seen as an industry that’s at the center of efforts to help improve the health of the state’s residents. We have more than a score of startups that own or are developing valuable intellectual property. Many are or are poised to launch products or services with national and international potential.
My highlight reel of association successes includes the 16-page insert on NM’s bioscience sector that appeared in the July issue of Site Selection magazine (Its 48,000 subscribers include 3,800 C-Suite executives in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors). The editorial made a compelling case for NM as a location for bioscience firms in addition to showcasing eight startup firms on the brink of success. I was pleased that the state’s major economic development organizations – the NM Partnership, the City of Albuquerque, ABQ ED, the Mesilla Economic Development Alliance, as well as the New Mexico Bioscience Authority, Arrowhead Park, AMRI, US Bank, and Colliers International, supported the insert with ads. More than 20 bioscience firms supported the creation of the first NMBio ad and its placement in the insert.
Our first virtual Knowledge Fair was a success as was our sellout January “legislative forecast luncheon” in Santa Fe that featured House Speaker Brian Egolf as well as speakers from BIO and governmental affairs representatives from Amgen, BMS, Genentech, and Sanofi. In the fall, we had the opportunity to showcase three of our most promising firms – Nature’s Toolbox, Inc., Innate Immunity, and VisionQuest Biomedical to the Economic Forum’s members. I had the opportunity to give a presentation on NMBio and the state’s expanding bioscience industry to 100 members of the real estate community.
The month of January also kicks off our annual membership drive; 2020 memberships expired on December 31. Join or renew today and mark this off your to do list (and get fewer email reminders from board members or me). NMBio’s annual fees are based on the number of employees at your firm
. Please notice that we have once again kept our prices low, especially for our entrepreneurs and startups. They are among, if not, the lowest, in the nation. Here’s a link to our membership rates and online payment system — https://www.nmbio.org/members/nmbio-membership/.
You can pay by credit card — as we’ll as by check. If you need an invoice or proof of payment, send your request to my attention.
Our balance sheet did take a hit due, in part, to the pandemic. The board of directors and I would truly appreciate your combining a sponsorship with your membership. Firms or individuals that contribute $1,000 or more will receive special recognition on the association’s website and at events throughout the year. In addition, please consider signing up for the BIO Business Solutions program — https://www.bio.org/save/new-mexico-biotechnology-biomedical-association-nmbio
or our own Strategic Partners program – https://www.nmbio.org/strategic-partners/.
BIO Business Solutions offers NMBIo members the opportunity to save on items they need to run a successful biotechnology enterprise – from lab products to business insurance, office supplies, and shipping needs. Both are free to join. Discounts provided by the service providers can save you thousands of dollars annually (their programs offer cost savings up to 75% off retail)
Some of you will recall that I sent out an email in early December encouraging you to set up an interview to learn more about the benefits of the BBS program with Steven Keeler
, who serves as our BBS representative. Individuals that scheduled a chat with Steven were entered into a drawing for a free, one year membership. I’m delighted to report that Chuck Call
, CEO of BioFlyte is the recipient.
January is also the month that requires members to cast their votes for candidates seeking to serve on the association’s twenty-member board of directors. Board members traditionally are elected for two-year terms. Ten board members are elected in alternate years. Elizabeth (Lisa) J. Kuuttila,
President & Chief Economic Development Office, UNM Rainforest, is leading the search committee that’s responsible for recruiting new candidates as well as reviewing the performance of existing board members seeking re-election. Members will get to cast their votes later this month. You can see short profiles of our current board members on our website: /https://www.nmbio.org/about-nmbio/board-of-directors/