A Look Ahead for Washington State’s Life Sciences Cluster
This Friday the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) will release findings from its 2010 Economic Impact Report at their Governor’s Life Sciences Summit and WBBA Annual Meeting. With the sometimes volatile ups and downs of our industry, these findings have the potential to propel WBBA forward in both current and new initiatives and strategies to build Washington state’s life sciences sector.
We know the life sciences industry has grown to be a significant part of Washington state’s economy. Even through tough economic times, we’ve seen employment numbers pass many of the traditional resource-based industries on which the state’s economy was founded. The life sciences industry is crucial not only because of its size, but also because of its potential for economic growth and improved health for individuals. As the trade association serving this industry in Washington, WBBA has been effective in supporting its members and companies as they work to translate innovation to realization. As I take over the reins as the next WBBA board chair, our goal will be to continue to advance the agenda that we have established thus far—to help all of our member organizations get access to additional financing to further their product development efforts.
Under Tom Clement and Chris Rivera’s leadership, the WBBA has done a good job of laying a solid foundation for establishing Washington state as a leader in the life sciences and in global health. We have one of the largest, most vibrant industry organizations in the country. However, in order for us to maintain our leadership role globally, we have to take a long-term approach by continuing to make investments in projects that have the potential to grow into bigger and more substantial development projects that benefit our healthcare ecosystem. This will require the help and support of all of our stakeholders—from WBBA members to our affiliate members, to local, state and federal elected officials, to patient advocacy groups, to healthcare providers and any other groups willing to join us. There is much to do in educating both the public and our elected officials so that they understand the long-term benefits of what our industry can provide in terms of hope and in terms of the life-saving healthcare solutions for patients and their families. Working together, we can develop sustainable policies that can be implemented now to support and grow our diverse life sciences sector.
Fundamentally we’ve come out of a pretty tough time. Right now, life science companies are facing substantial risks. The public markets haven’t … Next Page »