Building Opportunity Density Within by Reaching Further Out

Joanne Gere, Executive Director: We've been listening to researchers across the Westchester biotech cluster, and a common issue expressed by every company has been challenges in recruiting bench scientists, engineers, and data scientists to the region.

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As these are the very community members we honor, we have been discussing ways to identify relevant concerns and how we can help turn the dial. Those who know and love Westchester's natural beauty, proximity, and knowledge base are already convinced. Those who might consider uprooting to the area are faced with a decision that will impact themselves, their careers, and their families for years.

What's the Difference?
When we think of various life science hotbeds like Boston, NYC, and of course Seattle, there are plenty of analogs. However, the key difference is opportunity density. If you move to a more vivid environment for building a career, and your company takes a turn in a new direction, there are very likely multiple entities that would love to capture you. 

We're still working to map the cluster and do our part to enhance the collegial ecosystem, so this thought is early and anecdotal. That said, we believe that by working with existing resources, which are very deep in the hospital and university communities, we can help leverage benefit for startups and for attracting existing entities to stake a claim in the region.

From Whence Will it Come?
Growth will come from everywhere. Already we have begun attracting attention from companies based in France and Spain with an interest in finding a foothold here. Watch for detail on our big honkin' goals for Westchester Biotech Project EU at our Innovation in Research Symposium October 26 at Fordham Westchester.

And, as we are see growing appetite for incubator and scale-up space for young companies, the biotech cluster will expand and strengthen from within. This is key as notable investments are being made in visionary research parks such as North 60. We'll need many fresh recruits for these to be successful for scientists, investors, and patients.

The Good News
I've been involved with many initiatives and programs to bring together scientists across the many silos of biomedical research. None has been so enthusiastically embraced, which gives me -- and our co-chair Michael Welling of Meridian Risk Management -- the confidence to state that our mission is to take a key role in the region's multi-year effort to build opportunity density and assure continual life science progress for generations to come.