VA BIO WILL DIRECT NEW “VIRGINIA BIO-CONNECT” STATEWIDE CONSORTIUM
Governor Northam and the Virginia Biotechnology Association announced today that GO Virginia has approved a competitive grant request to help fund Virginia Bio-Connect, a $3.2 million Statewide industry cluster scale up initiative. The project, directed by the Virginia Biotechnology Association, is a multi-regional collaboration designed to increase connectivity and awareness of the existing programs, resources, and communities in the Commonwealth that support the life sciences industry.
Virginia Bio-Connect will be a central hub for the life science community to find relevant resources across the state, including commercialization and entrepreneurship programs, funding mechanisms, accelerators, job boards, internship programs, and core research equipment facilities. The program will provide the pathway for businesses to find the support, expertise, and workforce needed to grow and prosper in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
This effort leverages CvilleBioHub’s regional ecosystem building experience, funded in part by GO Virginia, to inform the further development of four additional BioHubs in Richmond, Northern Virginia, Coastal Virginia, and the Roanoke/Blacksburg/Lynchburg regions. Co-directors who have expertise in economic development, commercialization, life sciences, and workforce development will lead the BioHubs. Each brings deep life science networks to foster new connections.
John Newby, Virginia Bio’s Chief Executive Officer and the designated lead of the new consortium, explained that the biotechnology industry, beyond its work to stimulate innovation and improve health, has an $8 billion economic impact in Virginia. “We have assembled an extraordinary team who are all passionate about working collaboratively, and Virginia’s life science economy stands to grow greatly under this grant.”
CvilleBioHub Executive Director Nikki Hastings said, “CvilleBioHub, a private industry-led non-profit in Charlottesville, has established and demonstrated success for regional biotech industry cluster development. We are excited to expand this concept across Virginia, strengthening the overall network and impact for the state’s bioeconomy.”
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