In 2016, during the Annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum at MedImmune/AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, Maryland, an ambitious goal was set: to make the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) a Top 3 BioHealth cluster in the United States by 2023. That vision has been realized in the latest Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News “Top 10 U.S. Biopharma Clusters” rankings, marking a significant milestone in the region’s relentless pursuit of excellence, collaboration, and innovation in the BioHealth field.
Rich Bendis, President & CEO of BioHealth Innovation, Inc., stated, “It’s been an incredible journey working with so many dedicated individuals and organizations in the region over the years to meet this goal. The spirit of collaboration and innovation that defines the BioHealth Capital Region has been the driving force behind this success, and I’m proud to be part of this remarkable community.”
Pete Briskman, Executive Managing Director, JLL, and Chairman of the BHI Board of Directors, said: “Reaching the Top 3 ranking is more than just a milestone; it’s a symbol of what we can achieve when we come together with a shared vision and relentless determination. The BioHealth Capital Region's ascent to this position reflects countless individuals' and organizations' hard work, innovation, and collaboration. I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to everyone involved. Your efforts have elevated our region and set a standard of excellence for the entire industry. This achievement is a testament to what we can accomplish, and I have no doubt that we will continue to lead and inspire in the years to come.”
A Vision Realized
The journey towards this milestone began with a clear vision and a commitment to collaboration across various sectors. The region’s stakeholders, including universities, industry leaders, government agencies, and research institutions, worked together to foster entrepreneurship, leverage talent, ensure access to capital, and create meaningful partnerships.
The region has been a hotbed for entrepreneurial activities, encouraging researchers to commercialize their innovations. Supportive policies and funding opportunities have played a crucial role in nurturing startups and small businesses in the BioHealth field.
The BHCR has effectively utilized its skilled workforce to drive growth. The region’s educational institutions have been instrumental in producing top-tier professionals, contributing to the success of the BioHealth industry.
Access to Capital
Ensuring access to capital has been a key focus area for the region. Through grants, angel investors, venture funds, and other financial mechanisms, the BHCR has facilitated the growth of BioHealth companies, allowing them to thrive and innovate.
Perhaps the most defining feature of the BHCR’s success is its collaboration emphasis. By fostering partnerships in Maryland, DC, and Virginia between academia, industry, and government, the region has accelerated innovation and brought groundbreaking solutions to the forefront of healthcare.
A Top 3 Cluster
According to the GEN’s annual rankings, the BHCR has succeeded in becoming a Top 3 BioHealth cluster. The region’s impressive portfolio of 52,899 patents, which ranked first, reflects its innovative prowess. Additionally, the BHCR ranks third both in NIH funding, with 6,201 awards totaling $4.245 billion, and in Wet-Lab Space. fourth in jobs, employing 128,886 professionals in the field.
A Future of Continued Growth
The success of the BHCR is not an endpoint but a stepping stone toward greater achievements. With ongoing projects, such as the Horizon and MilliporeSigma’s expansion in Rockville, and future development of The Lab at Belward. the region continues to invest in its future.
The focus on collaboration, innovation, and support for the BioHealth community will undoubtedly continue to drive the BHCR forward. The lessons learned, and the roadmap followed can serve as an inspiring model for other regions aiming to excel in the BioHealth field.
Congratulations to the BioHealth Capital Region
The achievement of the BioHealth Capital Region is a collective triumph that deserves heartfelt congratulations. The dedication, collaboration, and innovation displayed by all contributors have elevated the region to a top-ranking position and contributed to the advancement of healthcare and biotechnology on a global scale.
Alex Philippidis, Senior Business Editor of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, stated, “The BioHealth Capital Region has shown itself willing and capable of advancing the broad Maryland-Virginia-DC region as a growing magnet for biotech and pharma activity, drawing upon strengths that start with institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia, and the headquarters of the FDA and NIH. In recent years these institutions have been joined by a series of biopharma giants and smaller biotechs that have grown their workforces and developed life-saving drugs and vaccines within the region—as seen by the BHCR's rising rankings in GEN's A-List over the years.”
The future looks bright for the BHCR, and we look forward to witnessing further growth and success in the years to come.