Flagstaff called critical to Arizona’s bio future

February 26, 2003

By Flinn Foundation

Flagstaff has the ingredients to play a vital role in the future of biosciences in Arizona, according to Walter Plosila, Ph.D., of the Battelle Memorial Institute. Plosila addressed an audience of more than 100 Flagstaff community leaders today to present Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, a 10-year plan for establishing a prosperous future for Arizona in the biosciences.

Plosila, vice president for public technology management, cited such Flagstaff strengths as Northern Arizona University’s infectious disease research, the Flagstaff Medical Center’s capabilities in conducting clinical trials, and W. L. Gore’s development of new medical devices.

“Gore accounts for 24 percent of the employment in the medical devices sub-sector in Arizona, so that’s an industry anchor you can build on,” said Plosila, citing the need to develop a critical mass of such companies and organizations to fuel the growth of the Arizona biosciences corridor. Investment in research facilities, labs, infrastructure, and education, will also play a vital role in securing funding from the National Institutes of Health, he said.

Expanding on Dr. Plosila’s remarks, the Flagstaff Community Panel described current and planned work that will serve to support the implementation of the bio roadmap. The panel consisted of Stephanie McKinney, President and CEO of GFEC; Michael J. Vonesh, Ph.D., Technical Leader at W.L. Gore & Associates; Steve Carlson, President and CEO of FMC; and Carl Fox, Ph.D., Vice-Provost of NAU.

Battelle has been commissioned by the Flinn Foundation to study Arizona’s biosciences sector and engage working groups statewide to implement a long-term strategy that will enable Arizona to become a national leader in the biosciences.

For more information:

Arizona Daily Sun, 2/27/2003

Arizona Daily Sun editorial, 2/27/2003

Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap executive summary