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Oklahoma City Economic Development Foundation

Build Back Better Regional Challenge Winner

Coalition Lead Applicant: Oklahoma City Economic Development Foundation

Project Title: Oklahoma Biotech Innovation Cluster Initiative

Region (applicant-defined): Oklahoma

Coalition Overarching Narrative (applicant submitted) (PDF)

View Press Release

Phase 2 Federal Award: Approximately $35 million

Project Description:
The Oklahoma Biotech Innovation Cluster, led by the Oklahoma City Economic Development Foundation, will receive approximately $35 million to rapidly expand its biotechnology cluster, bolstering domestic resiliency within the biopharmaceutical supply chain and making the cluster more globally competitive. After 25 years of building the Greater OKC bioscience industry, the region is at a critical inflection point for scalable and equitable growth. Since 2001, local employment in the industry has grown 25 percent, biomedical R&D activity has more than doubled, and anchor economic development institutions have onboarded new leadership specifically prioritizing inclusive and equitable growth. EDA funding will build the Oklahoma Center for Development Therapeutics, a program designed to address the cluster’s rate-limiting challenge to commercialization (e.g., attracting leading scientists to the region, supporting drug development pipelines). Other funded efforts will include expansion of the region’s clinical trials center to include more disease types and patients served (with a specific focus on Tribal communities), an OKBioStart program to launch and grow biotech startups across Central Oklahoma, and a bioprocessing core facility and workforce program preparing the region for biomanufacturing at scale. The coalition capitalizes on a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to build new biotech industry collaborations outside of just the East and West Coasts, bringing economic benefit to the center of the country.

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