On 10/12/11, an inspiring event, the Life Sciences Technology Showcase, took place in Rhode Island that demonstrated the depth and power of life science talent within Providence’s Knowledge District (KD). While many in the city and state are busy thinking about the logistics of how to promote the vacant I195 land (e.g. what’s to come), a major section of RI’s life science community (over 200 researchers, doctors, professionals and investors) gathered in the Knowledge District to showcase and connect people to what is already here! The Showcase is a proof-point that real innovation is already thriving in drug therapeutics, devices, diagnostics and healthcare IT. Land is important but it is the community of innovators and collaborators that will draw new companies to RI and where more attention and resources need to be directed.
The Showcase organizers and participants are convinced now is time to create a Life Sciences Innovation Hub to connect all the valuable assets supporting Rhode Island’s life sciences community. The Showcase is just a first step. If we don’t keep momentum, we will lose a critical opportunity to contribute to RI’s economic sustainability. Saying biotech and health care innovation is here isn’t enough. We need to better connect organizations, seek collaborative grants, work as ambassadors to companies within and outside RI, and support our current cohort of entrepreneurs. The Hub align and coordinate resources. Individual institutions, the private sector, and government must all have a seat at the table and contribute to maximize the Hub’s effectiveness. Help us grow the Hub, and let us know what you are doing so we can connect you. Get engaged in the action. Contact RI-CIE to find out more and see what you missed, and stay tuned on oscarri.org for upcoming hub activities.