A decade ago, AZ launched a plan to create an internationally competitive bioscience sector. This roadmap is the long-term plan to combine leaders in business, basic sciences & research, and political entities in order to create an infrastructure and climate that would be ideal to propel AZ forward in the biosciences.
The Flinn Foundation invested in this mission and hired Battelle to create this plan or roadmap. The report recommended specific areas of focus for short-term growth in 3-5 years (bioengineering, cancer research, neurosciences, and bio-imaging) that needed to be implemented. They also identified other areas for long-term growth (agricultural biotech, asthma, diabetes, and infectious disease) over the next 5-10 years that would help strengthen AZ’s medical research base and create new jobs that would be safe from cyclical fluctuations in the economic market. This implementation effort is being led by the steering committee.
The core of the initiative: 1) builds research infrastructure; 2) develops a critical mass of firms and new cutting edge businesses; 3) enhances the business environment to generate funding; and 4) prepares the workforce with educational initiatives www.azbiobasics.com.
The latest status report on the roadmap shows major progress (95%) on the goals in the last 10 years. Bioscience employment in AZ increased 32%, the number of firms has grown 28%, wages in bioscience fields have increased 47%, NIH funding grew 65% faster than other states, and R&D expenditures by academic research institutions grew 52%. Venture capital investment dropped 11%, however the entrepreneurial initiatives to license and patent intellectual property increased steadily. Check out the full report, Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Performance Assessment 2002-11 and a calendar of upcoming events at www.flinn.org. The list of organizations involved in bioscience can be found at www.azbiobasics.com.