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BioMed SA Previews Action Plan to Support Economic Development Opportunities for San Antonio's Healthcare and Bioscience Industry
December 13, 2017

Industry Action Plan Delivers Recommendations
to Leverage San Antonio’s Unique Assets and Fuel Economic Growth

(SAN ANTONIO) December 13, 2017 – BioMed SA, the non-profit corporation founded in 2005 to help promote and grow San Antonio’s leading industry, healthcare and bioscience, has previewed initial results of a months-long strategic initiative to recommend specific opportunities supporting the continued growth of the sector in the city. Highlights of the first phase of the Industry Action Plan for Economic Development for SA’s Healthcare & Bioscience Sector were presented at BioMed SA’s annual membership breakfast on December 13.

Developed in partnership with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, the plan identifies tactical recommendations to support the creation of bioscience jobs, start-ups and continued investment in the San Antonio region as part of the community’s overall strategic plan for economic development, known as Forefront SA.

The plan – which is supported by the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, City of San Antonio and Texas Research and Technology Foundation – provides more than 30 recommendations to the community in alignment with Forefront SA’s objectives. The recommendations are intended to help the community: 1) attract and recruit new businesses, 2) retain and grow local businesses, and 3) ignite and nurture the entrepreneurial development of startups.

Execution of the plan’s recommendations will be a collaborative effort involving the entire San Antonio community, including public, private, academic, and government entities in the bioscience sector.

Charlie Whelan, Director of Consulting, Transformational Health, North America for Frost & Sullivan, explained the philosophical approach to the three-year Action Plan, which was developed through interviews with more than 80 local, regional, and national industry leaders, disease experts, and economic development professionals.

“San Antonio’s challenges are also San Antonio’s opportunities,” Whelan said. “We view our population’s health needs and well-established biomedical community expertise as resources that give the city deeper knowledge, passion and intensity to address key health challenges. Healthcare innovation, especially for chronic disease, is evolving in a way that demands a much more intimate relationship with the real world needs of patients and the communities in which they live. By harnessing that potential, we see opportunities for San Antonio’s healthcare and bioscience sector to do well by doing good.”

Organized into two phases, the plan focuses on five key disease areas previously identified by local industry leaders during BioMed SA’s Asset Initiative (2011-2013) and in subsequent strategic recommendations made by the San Antonio Medical Foundation (2015.)

Phase One focuses on two areas in which San Antonio is particularly well-equipped to develop sector leadership: Diabetes and Infectious Disease.

San Antonio has one of the highest prevalence rates of diabetes among major cities in the country, particularly in its minority and low-income communities. In addition, the prevalence of infectious diseases – particularly sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea – are increasing at a high rate in San Antonio and surrounding areas. San Antonio’s opportunity for economic development in these disease areas derives partly from opportunities to develop technologies and businesses to serve these disproportionately large and growing populations. Over the years, providers, researchers, payors and businesses in San Antonio’s healthcare and bioscience sector have developed deep expertise with these conditions.

The Industry Action Plan includes 34 specific recommendations for the first phase across five categories:

  • Early Wins
    Executing short-term, tactical recommendations which are relatively easy to initiate and which could result in positive results with a focused effort driven by only a few stakeholders.
  • Enablers
    Creating new, focused community assets that build on existing strengths. Initiatives will take time to develop but can begin small and expand in scope.
  • Ecosystems
    Expanding efforts to grow bioscience employment beyond traditional R&D, scientific and manufacturing positions to grow relationships and develop capabilities with local companies and industries not historically considered part of the San Antonio bioscience sector.
  • Edges
    Focusing on opportunity areas and niches that align well with San Antonio capabilities and external trends. These opportunities can be pursued by individual stakeholders or larger groups.
  • Engines
    Building long-term community strategies that align the interests and capabilities of many stakeholders to create a stronger innovation ecosystem that could produce significant numbers of jobs and attract investment.

“BioMed SA’s primary mission is to deliver value to our community stakeholders for the continued growth of the industry and the collective benefit of all,” commented BioMed SA President Ann Stevens. “This Industry Action Plan demonstrates a pathway of opportunity for San Antonio’s healthcare and bioscience sector that could not only ignite economic development but could also provide invaluable benefit to our local citizens and others around the world suffering from diseases in which San Antonio has expertise.”

The recommendations from this plan will take shape as industry leaders in the healthcare and bioscience sector come together to collaborate on the opportunities that could be implemented. BioMed SA expects to host a series of workshops with industry leaders to help shape tangible next steps for these recommended opportunities.

Phase Two of the Action Plan – to be developed and released in 2018 – will focus on Cancer, Neurological Disorders, as well as Trauma, Wound Healing and Regenerative Medicine.



San Antonio, the seventh largest city in America, is increasingly recognized as a City of Science and Health as well as the Home of U.S. Military Medicine. Healthcare and bioscience are a leading engine of the city’s economy, employing more than 1 of every 6 members of the San Antonio workforce, with an annual economic impact exceeding $37 billion. San Antonio’s biomedical sector combines unique assets, diverse resources, and a tangible spirit of collaboration. Innovations that save lives around the world are being discovered, developed, and commercialized in San Antonio.


BioMed SA is a non-profit, membership-based organization, supported in part by the City of San Antonio. Its mission is to accelerate the growth of San Antonio’s healthcare and bioscience sector, create regional economic benefit, and contribute to the health of San Antonio and beyond by establishing San Antonio as a global leader in healthcare and bioscience. Members include companies and institutions from four key pillars: health services providers, health professions educators, bioscience research organizations, and biomedical companies.


Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best in class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best practice models to drive the generation, evaluation and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 40 offices on six continents.

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