Effort capitalizes on convergence in the region as a market of choice for industries of the future
The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC), one of the largest business organizations in the nation, today announced a new economic development campaign to actively expand its focus on recruiting more companies and jobs in the life science and biotech industry to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW).
The campaign, funded in part by NT Biotech, Inc., an affiliate of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, seeks to build on momentum across the region in the growing biotech and life science sectors, capitalizing on the region’s existing competitive advantages in sectors like artificial intelligence, big data, and software development.
Convergence jobs—a combination of high-tech and life science jobs—are rapidly growing in the region to meet increased industry demand. DFW now ranks seventh in the U.S. for life science and biotech jobs (90,000) and is first in Texas and fourth in the country for the most computer, mathematical, and engineering tech jobs (225,000). In 2022, DFW added more high-tech jobs than any other region.
“This is a moment in time of true industry convergence, right now and right in our backyard,” said Dale Petroskey, President and CEO of the DRC. “From our highly skilled workforce and industrial infrastructure to our central location and low cost of doing business, our region today has become a hub for these industries of tomorrow, and that’s very exciting.”
To support the new effort, the DRC has released a new Life Science and Biotech Economic Development Guide and a research and data-driven website. The DRC will also launch a multimedia marketing campaign in key biotech and life science markets, including Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
The DRC has brought aboard Kelly Cloud as Vice President of Economic Development, Life Sciences to coordinate the outreach. In this newly established role, Cloud will collaborate with local, regional, and state economic development partners; the regional and state life sciences ecosystem; DRC member organizations; and community leaders to recruit and expand the presence of life science and biotech companies.
Spanning 11 counties, DFW is the fastest-growing metro area in the U.S., with a population of nearly 8 million and 24 Fortune 500 companies. DFW has averaged more than 100,000 new jobs per year since 2013, with the exception of 2020. Recent sector locations and expansions in the region include Evolve BioLogics’ new pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Sachse; Verily’s (formerly Google Life Sciences) new offices in Dallas’ Cypress Waters; and BioLabs’ new offices at Pegasus Park in Dallas, its first location in the middle of the country. Construction has also begun on a 100,000-square-foot building in Fort Worth that will house the newest medical school in the state, the TCU Burnett School of Medicine. Also under construction is the Texas Instruments Biomedical Engineering and Science Building, a partnership bringing together the biomedical engineering programs of UT Southwestern Medical Center and UT Dallas.
DFW has earned its distinction as the Intellectual Capital of Texas. More than 70 accredited universities and colleges cover the DFW landscape. The University of North Texas at Denton, the University of Texas at Dallas, and the University of Texas at Arlington are among Texas’ eight emerging research universities. UT Southwestern Medical Center, meanwhile, is among the nation’s best in biology and biochemistry research, boasting countless clinical breakthroughs and innovations and four Nobel Prize winners among its faculty. The region produced about 2,800 graduates with biological and biomedical sciences degrees in 2021—and about 4,600 degrees in computer and information sciences.
“The building blocks are in place to leverage the growing workforce and incredible intellectual capital in our region to attract more life science and biotech companies to Dallas-Fort Worth,” said Tom Luce, CEO of Biotech Initiatives at Lyda Hill Philanthropies. “The DRC has been a key driver of the region’s economic success for more than 10 years, and we are looking forward to partnering in this effort to grow and expand this important ecosystem in North Texas.”
The DRC’s economic development team, under the direction of Senior Vice President Mike Rosa, will be actively targeting companies in key markets around the country for meetings and site visits, and serve as a resource for research and data to highlight the opportunities for long-term, sustainable growth in DFW.
“As the life science and biotech industry continues to evolve and thrive, more companies are recognizing the convergence of the unique assets Dallas-Fort Worth has,” said Nancy Avila, Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer at McKesson and the 2024 Chair of the DRC Board of Directors. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The life science and biotech industry is only going to accelerate, and Dallas-Fort Worth will be considered a market of choice for decades to come.”
Visit the website for additional information about the DRC’s Life Science and Biotech Economic Development Guide and plans for growth.