As 2019 draws to a close it’s fitting that we take note of the incredible momentum that could be felt across the Greater Philadelphia region’s health care and life sciences community this year, which was also the first year of the Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Initiative.

In January, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, through its CEO Council for Growth, formally launched this effort to build awareness for the Greater Philadelphia region’s life sciences economy, with particular emphasis on supporting the growth of talent, research, and businesses in the cell and gene therapy, gene editing, and connected health spaces.

Since then, the collaborative effort has worked to support this goal by cultivating shared storytelling that builds awareness of the region’s assets, providing resources to start-up and scaling companies, assessing the talent needs of the sectors, and championing the development of critical infrastructure for the sector’s growth.

Highlights of the initiative’s work include the successful hosting of a showcase event during the 2019 BIO International Convention. With the help of a regional host committee consisting of academic, business, and civic organizations from the 11-county region of northern Delaware, southern New Jersey, and southeastern Pennsylvania, more than 250 BIO attendees came to the event at the Comcast Technology Center, which featured innovative technologies and companies from across our geography. At BIO 2020 in San Diego, the Initiative will again support the region’s presence on a global stage.

Of equal importance, the initiative has also developed consensus among key stakeholders around messaging about our strengths in these arenas. These message points have informed the creation of an open source set of tools for partners and continues to fuel strategic advertising campaigns. The initiative has also coordinated Greater Philadelphia’s presence at key industry meetings and events.

The multi-year initiative will continue in 2020, supporting the collective goal of making the Greater Philadelphia region the epicenter of innovation in cell and gene therapy and connected health.