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Virginia Beach Plans to Attract More Biomedical Business

Tuesday, December 8, 2015  
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Virginia Beach recently launched an initiative to increase the biomedical and life science industries in the area.

VABeachBio, a program approved by the Virginia Beach Development Authority, includes an agreement with Tidewater Community College to create a Bio Accelerator in the college’s Regional Health Professions Center.

The Princess Anne Commons corridor area is currently the home of LifeNet Health’s world headquarters and Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Operation Smile’s world headquarters, Sentara Princess Ann Hospital and two other facilities operated by Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. Officials hope that the initiative will take that momentum and apply it to the creation of the accelerator.

As quoted in The Virginian-Pilot, Warren Harris, Virginia Beach economic development director, said, “The Bio Accelerator will be a great marketing tool for us to recruit new businesses to the city. We will be able to customize the space to meet the needs of these new businesses, and companies can work with TCC professionals to tap into the college’s resources and expertise.”

Kevin Sweeney, interim president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, said Virginia Beach’s biomedical push is unique in Hampton Roads.

“The potential is fabulous,” Sweeney said. “It’s unlimited in a sense.”

If Virginia Beach can create a cluster of biomedical and life science businesses, Sweeney said, similar businesses will want to relocate or open here.

“I think this has application across the region and up the Interstate 64 corridor, all the way up to Richmond for sure,” Sweeney said.

The VABeachBio project was created through the city’s Bio Task Force, chaired by Williams Mullen’s Tom Frantz and LifeNet Health’s Rony Thomas.

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