The Department of Economic Development and the City of Virginia Beach have recently signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Biomedical & Life Sciences clusters during a recent marketing mission to Spain. These bilateral agreements will create and encourage collaboration between the four signatory parties and favor the generation of ideas that will in turn improve the competitiveness of the participating different organizations involved.
“We are pleased to have formed meaningful alliances with prominent trade organizations from different parts of the world,” said Taylor Adams, deputy city manager and director of Economic Development for the City of Virginia Beach. “These new partnerships will enhance our business attraction efforts, allowing us to make new connections and strengthen our existing relationships, which in time will allow us to grow our local bio and life sciences hub through foreign direct investment.”
On Sept. 22, Taylor Adams, representing the City of Virginia Beach, signed a bilateral agreement with Carme Pampín Casal, president of Bioga; Philippe Herve, managing director of Biotech Santé Bretagne; and Paulo Silviera, CEO & founder of FoodTech HUB Latam. Through this MOU, the City of Virginia Beach is connected to Spain, France and Brazil; furthermore, such collaborations will expand the local biotech cluster’s reach. With these new partners, Virginia Beach plans to host delegations from the clusters in 2023. This multinational agreement expands the international impact of the Department of Economic Development.
The signatories agreed on the following activities in each MOU:
- The exchange of best practices on mutually beneficial cluster issues of interest to the signatories, such as cluster mapping, collaboration, internationalization, and access of small and medium-sized enterprises to global markets.
- The exchange and transfer of knowledge on the biotechnology sector and areas of mutual strategic benefit between the parties involved.
- The organization of matchmaking events of the convening parties to help members of the convening parties to access international value chains.
- Support the exchange of media campaigns, online communication and other public relations activities of any of the clusters through the cluster network.
- Support collaborative initiatives between companies, institutes and research centers in the regions or countries of the cluster partners.
- Any other activities that can be jointly organized.
In addition to the powerful new partnerships formed during this recent mission to Spain, the Department of Economic Development was invited to attend Galicia Biodays, a business forum for the biotechnology and life sciences industry in the European Atlantic Area. As part of this event hosted by Bioga, the Economic Development team was represented by Business Development Manager Devin Cowhey, on the panel, “The Role of Bioregions in the Growth of the Sector: Opportunities for Collaboration.” Virginia Beach was joined by the City’s new partners with the CEO of FoodTech HUB Latam, the managing director of Biotech Santé Bretagne, as well as a business development executive representing Scotland Investment and Trade. This event offered an ideal setting to establish new contacts and promote Virginia Beach to a receptive audience who already has an interest in taking their business ideas global.
Further, the City of Virginia Beach signed a second bilateral agreement with Bioga President Carme Pampín Casal. Bioga is a nonprofit business association that seeks to connect organizations that are engaged in the biotechnology sector on Galicia, Spain.
“We are thrilled to be adding the City of Virginia Beach as a new partner organization and look forward to seeing our members benefit from this new alliance,” said Casal. “One of our strategic objectives at Bioga is to support the international expansion of companies in the biotechnology and life sciences sector. We strongly believe that this agreement will help support Galician businesses who wish to access new markets and grow their business internationally.”
Galicia, an autonomous community located in the northwest corner of Spain bordering Portugal to the north, is considered a hotbed for biotechnology and life sciences companies. Galicia continues to be one of the most active communities in Spain in terms of new biotech companies created. It is considered a dynamic region for bio-entrepreneurs and is one of the top regions in Spain when ranked by the total number of biotech companies. Overall, Galicia represents an opportune target market for Virginia Beach, as the City remains committed to growing its local biotechnology and life sciences industry.