BioOhio, at an Ohio Statehouse event with Chairmen of the Senate and House Health Committees State Senator Steve Huffman and State Representative Scott Lipps, JobsOhio and other state officials, recently announced its relaunch and reorganization as Ohio Life Sciences (OLS). OLS is the state association advancing and advocating for the common interests of Ohio’s life sciences community. And with a vision for Ohio to be recognized as one of the most robust and innovative life sciences ecosystems in the country, OLS has developed a renewed strategic focus that will help deliver lifesaving breakthroughs, sustained economic strength and vitality for communities in Ohio and beyond.
“Ohio’s life sciences industry is on the precipice of a generational opportunity, and this transformation allows us to focus our efforts on workforce development, access and affordability of new lifesaving treatments, and public policies that drive the state’s innovation momentum,” said Eddie Pauline, Ohio Life Sciences president and CEO. “Our member investors include some of Ohio’s largest employers and hospitals, emerging startups, universities and research institutions. Alongside our state government leaders, economic development organizations and member investors, OLS is more perfectly positioned to convene, advocate and accelerate the life sciences in the state.”
For more than 35 years, the organization has been an advocate for and convener of leading life science and bioscience companies and organizations in the state. Building on that foundation, the new OLS represents a leap forward in its ability to best serve Ohio’s life sciences ecosystem of today and tomorrow.
“There is tremendous momentum in Ohio’s life sciences ecosystem and an opportunity to improve the economic, health and social well-being of residents across our state by advancing this industry,” said Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “As science within the economy advances, the rebrand and refocus of a new OLS is the right move in advocating and accelerating growth for Ohio’s innovative companies, organizations and talent.”
“Ohio’s unique collaborative environment brings together research, innovation, manufacturing and support unlike anywhere else, making it a powerful home for the life sciences,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. “As the state’s private nonprofit economic development corporation, we and our partners look forward to working alongside Ohio Life Sciences to ensure Ohio is the premier destination for companies and organizations to invest and advance this critical space.”
The life sciences industry in Ohio includes bioscience, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, labs, digital health, agricultural biotechnology, gene and cell therapy, research institutions, academic organizations and others. All are developing breakthroughs that change the way we live, and creating new innovations, as well as treatments for patients suffering from the most terrible diseases and chronic conditions. The state has made strategic and significant investment in world-class Innovation Districts in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, and has grown and developed life sciences companies and industry clusters in every corner of the state.
That investment, along with OLS’ new strategic focus, creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and OLS will be the unifying voice representing and advocating for the common interests of the entire life sciences industry.
OLS will immediately focus its efforts on advocating for policies that make new treatments accessible and affordable and fuel the state’s innovation momentum. And, thanks to initial funding from OLS’ partners at JobsOhio, a comprehensive workforce development initiative begins now with:
- A workforce and preparedness plan that creates a stronger talent pipeline by helping more K-12 students consider the life sciences; addresses current talent needs by supporting programs that upskill and reskill Ohio’s current workforce, and develops initiatives to attract more life sciences talent to Ohio.
- A statewide life sciences workforce tour, highlighting the companies and careers available in our cutting-edge industry in both rural and urban Ohio.
- Workplace learning programs shared across life sciences organizations, research and academic institutions.
- Partnering with Choose Ohio First and Innovation Districts for STEM talent recruitment.
- Increased promotion of Ohio as a destination for life sciences talent through out-of-state strategic marketing efforts.
Additionally, OLS will activate and enhance life sciences advocacy efforts, specifically among Ohio’s state legislature and representatives serving the state in Washington, D.C., as well as develop industry councils in specific priority areas to better represent member investor interests, beginning with the OLS Gene and Cell Therapy Industry Council, established in May. The organization is already a standing member of Ohio’s new Rare Disease Advisory Council.
OLS understands that it cannot accomplish all of its goals alone and asks life sciences organizations across the state to play a critical role in making Ohio one of the most robust and innovative life sciences ecosystems in the country. To learn about workforce development and other advancement efforts, and to join OLS as a member investor, visit ohiolifesciences.org.
Finally, the new OLS will be organized as two nonprofit operations to best serve the life sciences ecosystem across the state:
- The Ohio Life Sciences Association (OLS), a new 501c6 to serve as the member-based organization with a focus on economic and workforce development and advocacy.
- The Ohio Life Sciences Foundation (OLSF), a 501c3 focused on delivering research and funding that will accelerate and promote a robust life sciences industry in Ohio.