San Antonio Develops “Action Plan” to Draw Life Sciences Businesses

Xconomy Texas — 

San Antonio — San Antonio has a new “action plan” for bringing more life sciences businesses and professionals to the city, as well as for retaining those it already has.

Economic development groups and city officials have been developing a strategy for boosting the healthcare industry in town for more than a year. BioMed SA, a life sciences advocacy group formed in 2005, announced this morning it has helped craft 83 recommendations for attracting new people, generating more funding and educational resources, offering incentives like grants and other technical resources, and deploying various other ideas to boost the local bioscience economy.

BioMed SA has been leading the work, along with contributions from the city of San Antonio, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, and Texas Research & Technology Foundation. Last year, BioMed SA suggested that the development efforts primarily target ventures focused on disease conditions that are heavily researched in San Antonio, in particular ones that affect San Antonio citizens. Those are diabetes, infectious diseases, cancer, neurological disorders, and regenerative medicine (including trauma and wound healing).

Some of the recommendations, according to BioMed SA, are:

—Create employment programs, such as city-sponsored relocation packages, networking programs, and disease-focused working groups.

—Hire a full-time grant writer that would be tasked with raising money for local companies, in exchange for a portion of any grant proceeds.

—Invest in incentives, such as grants, for companies outside of San Antonio who do business with San Antonio life science companies, such as clinical research organizations.

—Develop healthcare IT tools in areas such as pain management, lifestyle behavior, fall risk, disease management, care coordination, and others.

BioMed SA plans to make more information available about the plan on its website.