It has been said that “Arizona’s collaborative gene” is a secret to our success. When we all work together, we can and we will achieve great things.
In November of 2014, a new organization was born out of collaborations to add to the ecosystem that supports life science innovation and enable individuals and teams to come together as partners to help develop new health innovations and enable Arizona take its place on the global life science stage.
D3Bio is a collaboration between the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation (OTEF), an Arizona 501c3 corporation, and the Arizona Bioindustry Association, Inc. (AZBio) and will operate as a division under OTEF.
To support life science innovation and life science innovators along the pathway from discovery to development to delivery.
D3Bio will draw from OTEF’s strengths in entrepreneurial education and support combined with the deep knowledge of what it takes for life science innovation and life science innovators that AZBio brings through the combined experience of its leadership and its members which include both global leaders and innovators from across Arizona’s healthcare and bioscience community. In addition, though its membership in the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI), AZBio will be able to draw on the experience and best practices of state based life science institutes across the country in the areas of talent/workforce development and life science entrepreneurship.
Focused on Achieving Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Goals
As outlined in the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap 2013-2015: Advancing the Biosciences and Improving Health Outcomes report published by the Flinn Foundation in 2014, this support must focus five areas:
- Entrepreneurial Hub: Form a hub of bioscience entrepreneurs and new enterprises across Arizona
- Research into Practice: Increase the ability of research-performing institutions to turn bench research results into improved disease/illness prevention, detection, and treatment, plus bio-agriculture and industrial biotechnology products
- Bio-Talent: Make Arizona a bio-talent powerhouse where such talent is developed, educated, trained, and retained
- Connectivity: Promote Arizona to economic partners in neighboring states, Canada, and Mexico as a place where bioscience research, health care delivery, and commercialization seamlessly intersect
- Collaboration: Pioneer a new level of commitment to partnerships to sustain and enhance the state’s “collaborative gene” reputation
The updated Roadmap plan was compiled by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice based on research and input from Arizona leaders in science, business, academia, and government, plus national bioscience experts.
Our First Initiative: Today’s Talent – Tomorrow’s Workforce
D3Bio’s first program will launch in 2015 and will focus on filling gaps in Arizona’s life science support infrastructure in the area of Bio-Talent by creating a statewide internship job board for students from Arizona high schools, community colleges, and universities containing internship opportunities within Arizona’s life science community including: bioscience companies, medical device companies, healthcare delivery companies and health IT companies.
Modeled after the successful Internship Challenge developed at the Massachusetts Life Science Center (MLSC), the D3Bio Internship Program will facilitate the placement of students and recent graduates who are considering career opportunities in the life sciences in paid or unpaid internships across the state. (Note: MLSC administers funds under a 10-year, $1-billion, state-funded investment initiative in Massachusetts that is exclusively focused on the life science which began in 2009. The MSLC program provides reimbursement to qualifying small businesses at $15 per hour up to a cap of $7200 per student. As Arizona does not yet have a program like this, paid internships will be at the sponsor/host company’s discretion.)
The goal of the D3Bio Internship program is to support our educational institutions in developing the talent pipeline for Arizona companies engaged in life sciences.
A successful program will expand the pool of prospective employees who have practical experience, enhance opportunities for mentoring, and provide students interested in working in the life sciences with the connections needed to gain real world experience.
After the first phase of the program supporting students from our high schools, community colleges and universities is completed, the program may be expanded to support existing programs that support teachers in gaining real-world industry experience that they can take back to the classroom, and a partnership with the MPVvets program which was developed with BIO and AdvaMed in offering internship opportunities to veterans being retrained for careers in the life sciences.