LVEDC Targets Life Sciences Companies in New Marketing Campaign
By Nicole Radzievich Mertz on March 3, 2022
From the orthopedic implants that revive athletic careers to the tiny cameras that catch colon cancer early, today’s life-changing technology is powered by companies in the Lehigh Valley. Global leaders like B. Braun, Olympus, and OraSure Technologies have shaped the innovation here for decades. Their success has helped attract similar companies to the Lehigh Valley, which now commands a thriving niche in the heart of the Northeast’s life sciences supercluster.
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) is now sharing that story among leaders in the life sciences sector. Earlier this quarter, LVEDC launched a target marketing campaign highlighting the region’s economic assets that have attracted more than 170 labs, diagnostic and medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical distributors.
The campaign includes the development of a life sciences microsite and a 30-day direct email campaign to more than 4,000 executives and decision makers in the life sciences sector. LVEDC also placed paid advertisements in industry publications including Site Selection, Business Facilities, Area Development, and NAIOP Development magazines.
“We are delivering this target marketing campaign during a very dynamic time in the life sciences sector. The sector is poised for expansion as it works to meet the needs of the largest public health crisis in a generation and rethinks its supply chains amid worldwide economic disruptions,” said LVEDC Regional Partnerships and Talent Strategies Vice President Karianne Gelinas, who led the target marketing campaign development along with Doug Warfel, Director of Attraction and Lending. “The Lehigh Valley offers a competitive advantage for those businesses because of our affordable location, proximity to top schools, and access to a labor pool of 1.3 million within an hour’s commute. New life sciences companies will be in good company with our existing companies already thriving here.”
The target marketing campaign is aligned with the LVEDC’s new strategic plan, which reaffirms the organization’s commitment to market the high-quality assets of the Lehigh Valley and to attract and retain employers here.
The “Targeted Recruitment” initiative, one of the five major initiatives in the new three-year strategic plan, specifies four high-value target sectors for which LVEDC will continue to concentrate its marketing and recruitment efforts. Those sectors include life sciences, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage production, and professional and creative services.
In the life sciences sector, the Lehigh Valley is particularly strong in manufacturing among medical equipment and diagnostic devices. Thousands of workers fuel operations to make catheters, infusion pumps, rapid tests, and other life science innovations. The employment concentration in the Lehigh Valley for surgical instrument production is nearly five times as large as a typical U.S. region.
While global companies like B. Braun and Olympus have domestic headquarters here, entrepreneurs have marshalled the resources of local institutions, including the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, to launch businesses and produce consequential innovations including the world’s first oral HIV test pioneered by OraSure Technologies.
Since 2017, 2 million square feet of life science space has been proposed, constructed, or completed in Lehigh and Northampton counties.
The Lehigh Valley sits amid a 400-mile stretch of life sciences supercluster from Boston to Washington, D.C. The Lehigh Valley borders New Jersey, which has the largest concentration of biophysicists in the state, and is an hour from Philadelphia, known for its concentration of cell and gene therapy.
The Lehigh Valley touts a strong network of 11 colleges and universities, including Lehigh University, ranked among the top schools in the nation, and is within a short drive of other top research schools including Princeton University and University of Pennsylvania.
Health care is the region’s biggest employer with world-class health care providers St. Luke’s University Hospital Network and Lehigh Valley Health Network. The region is also a manufacturing powerhouse, among the top 50 in the nation.
The bioscience boom, propelled in recent years by the needs of the aging population and scientific advancements, has accelerated across the country as operations ramped up to combat the deadly coronavirus.
Manufacturers of critical products, such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and personal protective equipment, are evaluating whether to “re-shore” foreign operations in the event of supply chain disruptions that the pandemic brought to light, and researchers are pioneering the next generation of medicine and technology amid record investments by venture capitalists and significant resources of the National Institutes of Health.
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