By building trust, shared strategic planning, and cross-academic research capacities spanning the state, Biocrossroads has created a model to inform and inspire work beginning in Tennessee for a similar economic strategy.
Following the keynote, Peterson wasjoined by Padma Raghavan, Vice Provost for Research and Innovation, Vanderbilt University; Joe Cook III, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Mountain Group Partners; and Jenn Adams, President and CEO, August Bioservices. The roundtable conversation identified assets of the region and state for bio cluster development, and explored the applicaition of the experiences in creating Biocrossroads for the work in Tennessee. Key issues identified in the dialogue included:
selecting the initial target for bio cluster development is critical, given the breadth of that sector, some target areas identified included building on the health data and analytic strengths of the companies and universities of the region, AI and new health therapies, supply chain and logistics.
although venture funding is limited at present, talent and workforce are priority resources to create a bio cluster--funding will follow the talent and workforce.
a combination of C-suite talent is needed, as well as workforce; CEO expertise for biotech is highly specialized and does not easily cross specialties.
drawing suppliers and customers of existing bio companies to the region also strengthens cluster formation
more direct and open dialogue and collaboration across universities and with companies will further accelerate cluster formation
cluster development is a marathon, not a sprint, start with small, early wins and build on them
time commitment and trust building are key--building trust among companies and universities took nearly 3 years at the start of Biocrossroads, it took nearly the first tenyears for momentum and scale; the current achievements are the result of twenty-years of committed, sustained work
the sustained commitment of the most senior private sector leaders of the region was the foundation for the success of Biocrossroads
new university leadership and internal connections and policies at Vanderbilt are opening new opportunities for bio cluster development in the region, along with the resourcesof Meharry and other universities.
Middle Tennessee can leverage its current high attractiveness as a dynamic city to bring talent, investors, and strategic partners to the region.
the assets are available for the region, the key is connecting them and overcoming the human and cultural barriers that impede trust and collaboration.
A full report on the creation andachievements of Biocrossroads is available at https://biocrossroads.com/