Biosciences advancing the economy and story of San Antonio

November 12, 2018

Amid growth and the expansion of the local economy, the field of biosciences and healthcare can help San Antonio stand out, a member of the BioBridge Global board of directors told an industry meeting recently.

“When it comes to being competitive and finding the value proposition in where San Antonio differentiates itself, we have found that that’s in bioscience, and that focus is in our outbound marketing and outreach,” Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president and CEO of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and BBG board member, told the Health Cell’s October luncheon.

The Health Cell is a local group formed to promote professional development and collaboration in San Antonio’s biotechnology, medical, military and academic leadership.  

As San Antonio celebrates its tricentennial, the city has evolved from an economy focused on agriculture to one of the most diverse economies in the nation.

The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation focuses on the local-to-global development of the city’s economy, including its robust bioscience community. The field has an economic impact of $37 billion in the city, with 1 in 6 San Antonians employed in the industry, according to the San Antonio Chamber Healthcare and Bioscience Economic Impact Study.

IT, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, energy, financial services, aerospace and the military also are driving the city’s economic expansion, she said.

The presence of the military and military medical facilities makes San Antonio the “home of U.S. military medicine,” a unique claim that positions the city to compete for trauma, wound healing and regenerative medicine opportunities.

However, more work remains in marketing San Antonio’s bioscience community domestically and internationally, she said.

“San Antonio has built such a strong bioscience industry, but we need to do a better job of telling our story,” Saucedo-Herrera said. “We need to prioritize bioscience. We need to come together and share information, leads, intel — anything we can do collectively to be effective.”

Local bioscience institutes and companies are collaborating on this initiative by sharing information back to the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation about their research and aggregate data, which the foundation can pitch to the world. The foundation is empowered in its messaging by the good-news stories and media articles sent from the San Antonio Medical Foundation.

“Let’s go out and tell our story locally and internationally about how great bioscience is and how great San Antonio is for that,” Saucedo-Herrera said. “Together, we can be much more impactful outside of marketing and building up the economy.”

BioBridge Global is a nonprofit regenerative medicine enterprise based in San Antonio. Its mission is “to save and enhance lives through the healing power of human cells and tissue.”

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