By Mike Rosa, Senior Vice President of Economic Development
Like the Texas Rangers making bold moves for the 2023 baseball season, the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) is focused on taking our region to the championship level as a destination for life science companies and jobs.
When recruiting and expanding companies we play to our strengths — like those that have attracted companies to put headquarters here for years.
And for years, despite having all-stars like UT Southwestern Medical Center in our lineup, our region has not achieved the major leagues as a life science location like a handful of other regions in the U.S.
Now, we have what we need to do it:
We rank seventh in the U.S with 90,000 jobs in biotechnology and life sciences, so we are a legitimate region for companies to consider.
We have a new pitch. Biotechnology and life sciences are converging with other sectors like artificial intelligence, software, virtual reality, big data, and others that are already strong here. We have an additional 225,000 jobs in computer, math, and engineering tech that support these convergent sectors. Dallas-Fort Worth is now the largest tech talent market in the U.S. that is also business and cost-friendly—a compelling combination for life science companies seeking new places to build their businesses.
We’ve got independent verification. CBRE puts the Dallas Region as the sixth-ranked rising biotechnology location, and we now appear in other published evaluations as being among the upper tiers of life science locations.
We have physical space to land companies, like Pegasus Park and Biolabs which is located there, where life science companies can see and feel the vibe they need when considering where to locate and grow.
We’ve got more all-stars – like UT Southwestern – now including the new Texas Instruments Biomedical Engineering Center, the O’Donnell Brain Institute, DFW International Airport’s cold storage capability, Dallas College’s biotechnology training grant, and companies like McKesson, Verily, and Evolve biologics picking the Dallas Region.
Our regional city allies and our DRC members and investors are all-stars as well, and eager to partner with the DRC to win companies and jobs in life sciences.
Thanks in part to a grant from NT Biotech, which is a Lyda Hill affiliate, the DRC has hired a full-time person to focus on this effort, our Vice President of Economic Development Life Sciences Kelly Cloud.
She will lead our plan, which consists of:
- A full suite of marketing campaign elements and pitch materials, like our new website
- Engaging life science companies, organizations, and institutions already in DFW to identify corporate location opportunities
- Research to identify and contact life science companies located elsewhere but likely to be interested in our region
- Traveling to meet with those companies, and hosting them in DFW
- Meeting with key life science site location consultants, media, academics, and other influencers
- Attending significant national and regional life science events like BIO 2023, and leading DFW’s contingent
We are confident this is work worth doing, the time is right, and the Dallas Region can rise to the top ranks as a location for life sciences.