Arizona still has some pretty high hurdles to clear before it can become a bioscience player, according to a recent BizAZ article. Highest among them may be the significant and growing need for wet-lab space.
Though both Phoenix and Tucson are currently engaged in design and construction of sizeable facilities, estimates indicate that these will fall short of both present and future need. They also provide no immediate answer to the question of what to do with the scientists and business currently being wooed to the state.
The article, entitled “Biotech: The Real World,” identifies other areas of concern as well, including lagging market shares of funding from the National Institutes of Health, lack of coordination among initiatives and groups, and the need to improve awareness of in-state companies and suppliers.
Despite such shortfalls, industry leaders remain optimistic: Groups such as the Arizona Biosciences Roadmap Steering Committee are working to improve overall coordination and the Flinn Foundation and Arizona technology councils continue to improve information flow through their informative online directories.
As for space and funding issues, it is all part of the chicken-and-egg nature of the biosciences.
“We have scientists rolling in who are generating grants,” Dr. Michelle Hanna, CEO of Phoenix-based RIBOMED, told BizAZ. “The grants will start bringing in money and the money will bring more people. I think the bio industry in Arizona has a very bright future.”