San Antonio, Texas-based BioMed SA celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and recently announced that the organization intends to mark the occasion with efforts to increase the biomedical industrial profile of San Antonio on a national level. BioMed SA is a non-profit, membership-based organization focused on advancing and promoting healthcare and bioscience sectors in the region.
The organization was founded in 2005 by former Mayor Henry Cisneros and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and it is partially supported by the City of San Antonio with the purpose of organizing and stimulating substantial biomedical assets in San Antonio. The first fully operational year was 2006, and throughout the decade major progress in the sector was made, with recognition of San Antonio as City focused on industry and education related to Science and Health.
“BioMed SA is the advocate for San Antonio’s largest economic sector,” stated BioMed SA Chairman Ken Trevett in a press release. “It promotes interactions between parties that have common interests, but may not know one another. It assists the City and County in business attraction, retention and expansion. And, it raises the collective visibility of the entire sector around the nation and world. All of these important activities require resources.”
During its first decade of operation, BioMed SA accomplished a series of milestones, including the establishment of the annual Julio Palmaz Award for Innovation in Healthcare and the Biosciences, which honors local and national innovators and raises awareness about the biomedical assets and innovation at San Antonio. This year’s edition is scheduled for September 10.
In 2009, BioMed SA played a crucial role in the recruitment of the Medtronic Diabetes Therapy and Education Center for San Antonio. The center is thought to be among the greatest economic development projects in the country during the recession and was the first company to be attracted by BioMed SA to the region. The organization also attracted the World Stem Cell Summit, which was organized in December 2014 in San Antonio.
In addition, BioMed SA developed the comprehensive healthcare and bioscience industry project “Asset Initiative,” which identified the five key disease areas of San Antonio. The goal of the initiative was to provide information on the diseases that the biomedical sector in San Antonio holds assets and expertise to create growth and visibility.
In order to help advance the sector during the following years, BioMed SA is looking for new revenue sources, including foundation or corporate grants and individual grants, according to Trevett. “BioMed SA is marking 2015 with a new pursuit of resources to further enhance our effectiveness by allowing us to increase our two-person staff and marketing budget to more adequately address the needs and opportunities of this vibrant and growing sector,” he said.
BioMed SA President Ann Stevens added that the search for new income methods is “a major step forward as we build on the accomplishments of the past 10 years and enter our second decade of service to the community as a more mature organization with greater responsibilities and growing expectations for advocating sector growth, promoting innovation, and fostering collaboration.”
The decision was praised by industry members, including some that received support from BioMed SA. “Medtronic is here in San Antonio due in large part to the assistance of BioMed SA during our site selection process,” stated Jeff Ruiz, general manager for the Medtronic Diabetes Therapy Management and Education Center. “The pursuit of new revenue sources presents an opportunity to bring additional financial support to this important organization. Both the city and the entire industry sector can benefit.”