BioMedSA 2020 Accomplishments and Plans for 2021

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As the Hub of the Life Science Industry in San Antonio, BioMedSA maintains its mission to:

  • Accelerate the growth of the healthcare and bioscience sector;
  • Create regional economic benefit; and,
  • Contribute to the health of San Antonio and beyond.

As the Hub of the Life Science Industry in San Antonio, BioMedSA describes 2020 Accomplishments and future plans.

We do this by convening meetings and working groups to facilitate collaboration and growth. We host instructional programming and announce others’ programs in the life science community. We partner with the City of San Antonio, educational institutions and economic development organizations to promote workforce training programs to meet needs of our industry. BioMedSA markets the healthcare and bioscience capabilities in San Antonio to others and seeks relocations to San Antonio in partnership with the City of San Antonio and the SAEDF.

In 2020, we had several objectives that we met.

We modernized our business functions by upgrading our bookkeeping, creating an electronic file system, accepting memberships and payments online, and creating a contact database, which we shared with VelocityTX for their BioConnectTX asset map. We upgraded our communications with new branding, a new and informative website, a detailed monthly newsletter, a LinkedIn page, and a youtube channel.

On our website we host a job board, local events, news, funding opportunities, and a lot of information, including a section on military medicine in San Antonio. You may be pleased to know that last month we received almost 1000 new visitors to our website, showcasing the healthcare and bioscience industry to the virtual world. In 2021, we will expand our social media presence to additional platforms.

We have marketed the life science community in San Antonio in many venues locally, at the state level, and internationally. We have hosted numerous events for the life science community, including the BioMedSA innovation award; two virtual Expos showcasing local contract manufacturers for medical devices, components, and accessories; a mid-year BioMedSA update; and a cost savings review.

On the cost savings front, we have added new programs, including: access to scientific literature, quality management systems and software validation, corporate health insurance, office furniture, and press releases.

More organizations in San Antonio are seeing the value in what BioMedSA is achieving for the healthcare and bioscience industry in San Antonio, and we have added 15 new members to BioMedSA this year.

We have organized and held several meetings of the Clinical Trial Taskforce, which has a vision to provide the most efficient, easy to implement, high quality, cutting edge and accessible clinical trial system in the country to advance the healthcare of our people.

This group has benchmarked other regions who have seen significant growth in their clinical trials and will begin the root cause and solution generating process in 2021.

Following good corrective and preventative action processes, this work will be done after implementation and effectiveness evaluation.

We have created an advocacy plan that we will build upon next year with the creation of a formal Advocacy Board. And you can be a part of it. This Advocacy Board will seek growth affecting all 4 pillars of life science: clinical care, education, research, and industry, including military medicine which spans all 4 pillars. Affecting government policies is one mechanism to advance growth in collaboration with partner organizations, such as the Chambers and THBI. We have put forth 3 legislative agenda priorities for the Texas Legislative session so far:

  • The first involves subject matter experts from healthcare and bioscience to be involved in state preparedness for medical emergencies.
  • The second is an expansion of the CPRIT program for bioscience industry funding, inside and outside the realm of cancer.
  • The third priority is a statewide program to re-engage students marginalized from the online learning experience.

We will be assembling a National Leadership Working Group comprised of TAMEST, national society members and invited fellows of national industry organizations who reside in San Antonio. The objective of this group will be to promote awareness of San Antonio at the national level and the impact of academy and invited fellowships at the local level. This is key for San Antonio to become more recognized as the City of Science and Health.

BioMedSA will also encourage and assist members to communicate with national patient advocacy groups in our 5 targeted disease areas. In case you don’t recall, those disease areas are: cancer, infectious disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, and a big category comprised of trauma, wound care and regenerative medicine.

In 2021 we will increase our programming, but also continue this meeting and the treasured Innovation Award event. For the Innovation Award event to be successful, we need nominations, a selection committee, and an event committee. These functions are all reliant upon our members for the success we enjoy with this event, along with its national exposure.

We’re pleased to announce that the time has come for a bioscience financial event in San Antonio. BioMedSA will be hosting an event to connect companies with potential investors and showcase intellectual property available for license. In April, when many nationally are thinking of Fiesta, they will become aware of the bioscience industry in San Antonio also. Let us know if you would like to help plan for this event. We will need people to forward information to potential investors to participate, share the event with small companies, encourage sponsorships and influence the event agenda.

BioMedSA will be hosting informative programming on medical device development, pharmaceutical development and other topics throughout the year. If you would like to present a topic within your expertise, please let us know.

We will be hosting meetings for those who work in each of our 5 targeted disease areas with the objectives of facilitating collaboration and developing marketing collateral for the work in those areas in San Antonio. This is an easy opportunity to help our community while making connections for your work and learning more about your field.

BioMedSA will be revamping our marketing collateral on the targeted disease areas, membership, drug development and manufacturing, and biologics. These materials are important to showcase what we have to companies considering relocation to San Antonio. We will be collaborating with the SAEDF to actively and selectively target regions and bioscience companies who would be a good fit for our community. We’ve all heard the good news of automotive and cybersecurity companies moving to our region and now it’s time for bioscience. You can help by learning recruitment talking points and visiting with prospects who want to learn more from local industry.

With expansion, comes the need for workforce. BioMedSA is actively working with our city and its partners to facilitate on the job training, currently through a subsidized program. In this program, companies select people to train with the intent to hire them after 8-12 weeks of training, should they work out. During this time, the program pays for the salary and insurance of the trainee.

Thanks to the voters in November, BioMedSA will also be assisting the city in the development of formalized training programs to meet the needs of the healthcare and bioscience sector in San Antonio. We need your help to make sure that developed programs will result in people you will want and need to hire. Please thoughtfully respond to the workforce survey you will be receiving in the spring and any subsequent ones. Later in 2021, we will be creating a workforce group to plan for next steps and focus on implementation.

Many of these activities were inspired by the Industry Action Plan we commissioned Frost and Sullivan to produce a few years ago. But, implementation does rely on you, our members and community. Please consider how you can be involved to support the growth of the healthcare and bioscience industry in San Antonio and also share what we are doing with your colleagues to spread the word.

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