Southern Arizona releases regional bioscience roadmap

November 16, 2006

By hammersmith

Southern Arizona has released a regional plan for growing its bioscience industry, a local component of the larger Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap efforts statewide.

The Southern Arizona Bioscience Roadmap, conducted by Battelle and sponsored by the Flinn Foundation, is part of the larger statewide Roadmap launched in 2002.

Regional roadmaps, which focus on bioscience strengths and needs at the local level, are part of the next phase of the Roadmap. Northern Arizona will initiate its regional roadmap in December. The metropolitan Phoenix area is expected to begin its work later in 2007.

The Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC) organized the first regional study, its bio committee serving as the Southern Arizona Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee.

“Biosciences are young in Southern Arizona, but they are growing rapidly,” said Rick Myers, chairman of SALC. “The biosciences provide us an opportunity that many cities and states just dream about. By leveraging our strengths, we can create the high-tech economy that will provide good-paying jobs to our residents.”

Results from the new study show that Tucson-area employment in the biosciences (excluding hospitals) grew nearly 22 percent from 2001 to 2004, to nearly 2,000 workers at 112 firms.

The report also stated that the average bioscience worker in Southern Arizona earned $40,004 in 2004, compared to the $32,777 earned on average by workers in the private sector.

The regional roadmap focuses on challenges and opportunities for the biosciences in Southern Arizona, detailing a plan for the region that includes organizing local leadership, building on the region’s existing strengths, and securing state, federal, and private resources.

University of Arizona scientist Michael A. Cusanovich, president of the Bioindustry Organization of Southern Arizona, told the Arizona Daily Star that the roadmap “is a huge help” in garnering support for the industry.

“This is exactly what we were hoping to see,” Cusanovich said. “It’s up to us to make it work.”

For more information:

Study: S. Ariz. a key player in biosciences,” Arizona Daily Star, 11/15/2006

Road map to bioscience success issued,” Tucson Citizen, 11/14/2006

Southern Arizona poised for bioscience leadership,” Inside Tucson Business, 11/20/2006