Dallas Regional Chamber Launches Life Science Recruitment Campaign

The campaign builds on the region's thriving tech sector as the foundation of Dallas-Fort Worth's growing biotech and life science ecosystem. “What we’re seeing now is the cumulative effect of convergence across industries—and that gives DFW an edge," says Mike Rosa, the DRC's economic development chief.

DRC Life Science Economic Development Guide Website

The Dallas Regional Chamber this week announced a new campaign to attract life science companies to Dallas-Fort Worth. The campaign is anchored by the launch of a new economic development guide website tailored to the life science industry—lifesciencedfw.com—and the hiring of a new vice president of economic development for life sciences.

The campaign, funded in part by NT Biotech, Inc., an affiliate of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, builds on the momentum the region has had in the growing biotech and life science sectors and leverages the region’s existing competitive advantages in sectors like artificial intelligence, big data, and software development.

Mike Rosa

“With computer science savvy, health systems and health startups, plus a competitive talent pipeline, it isn’t surprising that Dallas-Fort Worth is a place where life science can thrive,” said Mike Rosa, senior vice president, Dallas Regional Chamber. “What we’re seeing now is the cumulative effect of convergence across industries—and that gives DFW an edge.”

According to the DRC estimates, DFW now ranks seventh in the U.S. for life science and biotech jobs (90,000); fourth in the country, but first in the state, for computer, mathematical, and engineering jobs (225,000).

“The website will be a key tool in recruitment, and the larger marketing effort to demonstrate that when you have expertise in corporate real estate, consistent population growth, and industry diversity in one ecosystem, it creates an energy that’s hard to beat,” Rosa said.

More than 220 companies across industries have relocated or expanded in DFW since 2010. Now the DRC is hoping to add more life science companies to that list.  

Kelly Cloud

Kelly Cloud, the DRC’s new vice president of economic development, will work to establish relationships with mid- and large-sized life science companies in cities where they’ve traditionally existed and encourage them to relocate or expand here. 

DFW already has several Fortune 1000 life science-related headquarters, including McKesson, Kimberly-Clark, Tenet Health, and AMN Healthcare, according to the 2022 Texas Biotech Life Sciences report.

Recent announcements around DFW’s life science growth include:

  • Pegasus Park—twenty-three acres of work and research space for microbiologists, entrepreneurs, bioinformaticians, and investors.
  • International network Biolabs—a membership-based network of shared lab and office facilities that offers flexible leases for life science startups was one of Pegasus Park’s first tenants. It has space for 130 benches, including wet labs; digital monitoring of incubators; cold storage; and conference space with video capabilities.
  • Verily, the life sciences and healthcare-focused subsidiary of Alphabet, opened its first office in Texas at Cypress Waters, near DFW Airport in 2022.
  • Just last week, it was announced that a new 135,000-square-foot lab and office building called Bridge Labs would be built adjacent to Biolabs. It’s expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024.
  • In January, multibillion-dollar investment firm NexPoint, announced plans for a proposed 200-acre life sciences development in Plano.

Tech-enabled science has researchers re-imagining how to treat illness or injury, as well as maintain health. It creates cautious optimism for breakthrough solutions. Cancer, neurological disorders, and general wellness are just a few areas that stand to benefit from the Dallas-Fort Worth ecosystem. The Dallas Regional Chamber’s life science website is one more tool for people who are considering relocation, for themselves or their companies.

Voices contributor Nicole Ward is a data journalist at the Dallas Regional Chamber.

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R E A D   N E X T

  • At the Fourth Annual iC3 Life Science Summit at UT Arlington on Oct. 10, 2017 recipient Lyda Hill will present the award. To register for the summit, visit www.bionorthtx.org. [Illustration: bestbrk/istockphoto]

    See how the region ranked.

  • Dallas-based alternative investment firm NexPoint has revealed details and renderings of its planned 200-acre TxS District, short for "Technology x Science." Centered on the former headquarters campus of EDS in Plano's Legacy development, the life sciences hub could eventually offer over 4 million square feet of lab, office, and therapeutic production space. "Not only would this project be a major economic catalyst for the region, but it would also establish North Texas as a leader in life sciences," says James Dondero, NexPoint founder and principal.

  • The new two-story lab and office building will offer "the first institutional-quality space" in the DFW market, according to marketing materials.

  • The North Texas biotech boom just keeps booming—and a new "DFW Life Science Snapshot" from JLL shows why. From the Biotech+ Hub at Pegasus Park to a string of accelerators to local universities, DFW Airport, and more, here's a deep dive into what's behind the boom. "We are showing up in the rankings and in the data," says Mike Rosa of the Dallas Regional Chamber. "It results in more opportunities and more looks for us."

  • From right: DRC's Jorge Varela (far right) moderated a panel of industry experts including biotech C-level executive Hua Tu, Health Wildcatters CEO and co-founder Hubert Zajicek, and LH Capital Director Matt Crommett.

    "It takes time" to establish a track record, Jorge Varela says, and the region is starting to see a series of biotech successes and spinoffs that will elevate the region's profile as a biotech hub. According to a panel of experts at Urban Land Institute's 2022 spring meeting, here are factors drawing biotech to DFW.

  • The Biotech+ Hub at Pegasus Park in Dallas has been attracting more and more life science startups and university teams. Now a whole herd of Mustangs are about to stampede there. The SMU Institute for Computational Biosciences at Pegasus Park will have space at the 23-acre development. SMU researchers from a variety of disciplines will be focusing on bio-scientific discoveries, leveraging advanced computational algorithms and technologies. "We're excited to give SMU faculty this new opportunity to pursue world-changing research for good and to do so in close proximity to a broad range of academic, medical, corporate, and non-profit collaborators," says…

  • Southlake-based Renibus Therapeutics—a clinical-stage biotech company developing innovative products for cardiorenal diseases—has received $33 million in bridge financing to help it advance three drugs in its pipeline. The drugs are currently in various phases of trials.

  • Top North Texas healthcare and life science employers—including UT Southwestern, McKesson, Evolve Biologics, Texas Health Resources, and more—have already signed up to hire 1,100 biotech workers from the groundbreaking program. 27,000 workers have made Dallas-Fort Worth a Top 20 U.S. metro for life sciences companies. As the boom continues, they’ll need company. Here's how the grant will help Dallas College and other local higher ed institutions step up to provide it—and why a CEO at Lyda Hill Philantrhopies calls it a "game changer."

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As a data journalist at the Dallas Regional Chamber, Ward writes about the innovation that is defining the Dallas region.