Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) to Help Develop a Bioscience Industry Cluster in the LA County Region

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Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) is proud to announce it will play a role in the development of a regional bioscience cluster in the Los Angeles area. KGI will be responsible for defining an action plan for talent acquisition, development and readiness to support this cluster’s workforce needs

KGI will help develop an educational coalition in the area to build relationships and programs to increase awareness at all levels and expand opportunities to prepare for careers in the bioscience industry.

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) is proud to announce it will play a role in the development of a regional bioscience cluster in the Los Angeles area. The County of Los Angeles has awarded a contract to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), which is assembling a team of experts and partners to develop an implementation plan for the region’s bioscience industry cluster. As a member of this team, KGI will be responsible for defining an action plan for talent acquisition, development and readiness to support this cluster’s workforce needs. The goal of this highly qualified partnership is to develop and implement a plan designed to create skilled jobs and leverage our region's resources in innovation, entrepreneurism, scientific and medical talent and financing to foster significant growth in the business of bioscience in the LA County region.

Discussing this partnership and new role, KGI President Sheldon M. Schuster said: "KGI realizes the importance of biopharmaceutical processing to patients and to the national healthcare economy. KGI’s fundamental mission includes training the next generation of biopharmaceutical process engineers and professionals prepared in the business of science who can translate discoveries in healthcare sciences to commercialize medicine and therapies. KGI, selected as an academic partner because of the strength of its bioprocessing program and industry partnerships, will help develop an educational coalition in the area to build relationships and programs to increase awareness at all levels and expand opportunities to prepare for careers in the bioscience industry."

At the forefront of life sciences education at the graduate level, KGI is well prepared to contribute its talent and experience to ensure the needs of the job market are met once the bioscience cluster is developed. While the challenge will be providing candidates with significant company-based job training to develop specific and specialized skills, the KGI contribution includes Industry–relevant curricula with specialized and advanced subjects to manage commercialization of complex biological processes.

In speaking to this innovative approach, KGI Associate Vice President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees Elizabeth Wright stated, "KGI brings expertise in bioscience business education to the team and offers its unique focus and critical curricular foundation for training and retaining talent in the LA region."

KGI was founded in 1997 to address a simple need: to create more scientists and engineers with business skills to help translate basic scientific discoveries into practical applications that will improve health and healthcare. KGI provides team-based experiential education that integrates science, engineering and business to provide industry-ready graduates.

Among core KGI curricular components in Applied Life Sciences are:

  • Mission Focused on Bioscience and Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Industry-Sponsored Team Master’s Projects (TMP)
  • MBS Bioprocessing Degree Track
  • Master of Engineering in Bioprocessing (fall ’16)
  • Planned 3+2 Bioengineering Program Reaching into Undergraduate Education
  • Industry Sponsored PhD Program
  • Unique 9-month Degree Program to transition PhDs and Postdocs to industry
  • Amgen Bioprocessing Center with state-of-the-art-labs for students to gain hands on expertise
  • Bioprocessing Professional Advancement & Training (BPAT) for industry professionals

Current evidence suggests that focused industry cluster development unleashes incredible growth potential when used as an approach that cuts across the traditional fields and tools of economic and workforce development, helping to enhance their effectiveness. Traded or export-oriented industry clusters, such as biosciences, sell goods and services beyond the region and produce a powerful and reinforcing cycle of job creation, wage growth, investment and economic prosperity. As concentrations of businesses, support services, suppliers and competitors grow, they generate better products and improved processes, and attract skilled workers, becoming even more competitive and gaining market share.

About the Los Angeles County bioscience coalition:
The Los Angeles County bioscience coalition is focused on fostering success and growth of the bioscience industry cluster in the LA County region, with the express purpose of job creation and future economic development of the region, to help our economy and its workforce meet the challenges of the next 100 years and beyond. http://www.BioscienceCoalition.org

The bioscience coalition team of experts and partners is comprised of;

  • The LAEDC, coordinating the development of the implementation plan, a 501c3 and the region's leader for economic development and industry cluster strategy and implementation, including real estate advisory services through its LA Public Landowner Assistance Network. http://www.laedc.org/
  • BioAccel, a 501c3, works with qualifying entrepreneurs and their early-stage bioscience technology and medical device companies to identify start-up funding as well as provide training and mentorship to accelerate commercialization, improve healthcare, and diversify economic development. http://bioaccel.org/
  • Biocom, one of the largest regional life science associations in the world, representing more than 700 member companies in Southern California, and a key driver of San Diego’s bioscience industry growth. https://biocom.org/
  • Collaborative Economics, which performs regional industry cluster economic development and workforce development with specific experience in the bioscience industry. http://www.coecon.com/
  • CommonWeal, which identifies and engages networks of serial entrepreneurs, investors and their affiliated companies that play a critical role in driving value creation and robust regional economies.
  • Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), a higher learning institution and leader in professional development, with an educational and research mission to translate basic scientific discoveries into practical health applications. http://www.kgi.edu/
  • Additional supporting organizations in the bioscience coalition include Barbara Halsey Consulting, which facilitates partnerships between the public and private sectors to move workforce, education and social improvement projects forward, Hart Realty Advisors, specializing in real estate investment management, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, providing regional support and field staff, Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation, providing regional support and field staff, and the Valley Economic Alliance, providing regional support and field staff.

For more information about the KGI School of Applied Life Sciences, go to http://www.kgi.edu/.

KGI’s mission is to enrich society with breakthrough approaches to education and translational research in the life sciences. The KGI School of Applied Life Sciences is dedicated to education and research aimed at translating into practice the power and potential of the life sciences for the benefit of society.

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Cynthia Lujan

Cynthia Lujan
Keck Graduate Institute
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