GEORGETOWN — The Texas Life-sciences Collaboration Center is leading the creation of a nonprofit that would support life-science accelerators and incubators and emerging life-science companies. Known as the I-35 Bio Alliance, the nonprofit could launch by the end of the year.
The Texas Life-sciences Collaboration Center is leading the creation of a nonprofit that would support life-science accelerators and incubators and emerging life-science companies. Known as the I-35 Bio Alliance, the nonprofit could launch by the end of the year.
“It’s starting right here, but I think it will become a big deal and a statewide initiative,” TLCC Executive Director Russ Peterman said. “Us guys who are running incubators, accelerators or organizations like that—every time we would meet informally, we would say, ‘Oh you’re doing this, I’m doing that, we ought to get together.’ It was just one of those things that had kept coming up over the last two years.”
The alliance could incorporate companies along the I-35 corridor from North Texas to San Antonio and could someday go all the way to Laredo, Peterman said.
“If you go down I-35, just envision it from San Antonio to Dallas … All along this corridor, there is just a tremendous amount of activity” said Tom Kowalski, president of the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute.
While the alliance is expected to finalize its mission statement after meetings in October and November, the alliance is expected to link member companies and the life-science community along the I-35 corridor, as well as provide the opportunity for collaboration among companies already located in various incubators and accelerator groups who join the group. That means if one company in Dallas is working on a new technology that could impact research in another company in Georgetown studying cancer cells, for example, the two could potentially work together through the alliance.
Peterman said bringing together so many different companies could provide leverage for the region to stimulate research, development, recruiting, staffing and commercialization of technologies, which could position Texas as a leader in the industry.
“[This nonprofit] will be the focal point for initiatives and access for the support services that want access to the organization’s members,” Peterman said.
The alliance has already gathered about 15 potential partners and has begun working with the state’s Emerging Technology Fund. The group plans to work with adjunct group of economic developers in rural communities, Texas A&M University and Scott & White Healthcare.
“We have probably a dozen of the most active incubators in Texas becoming part of this, representing 60 different emerging tech companies,” Peterman said. “So right off the bat, it’s going to be a pretty big group of important players in the biotech and medical device industry in Texas.”
Peterman said the group could also incorporate the National Lamda Rail, a nationwide, proprietary fiber-optic system that links research centers throughout the country, into the alliance’s scope of work.
“We would work on a piece of [NLR] that would be I-35–oriented, probably around from Laredo to Dallas, Frisco or north of Dallas. It would cover the entire center of the state,” Peterman said. “This would be advantageous to link up the research institutions that have to exchange a lot of data that they want to keep proprietary or confidential.”