BioDistrict New Orleans, is a state-enabled economic development district (with taxing and bonding authority) that was created by the State of Louisiana in 2005 and charged with the responsibility of growing both the programmatic and physical development components of the biosciences sector of the New Orleans economy. The 1,500-acre district spans the downtown and Mid-City areas of New Orleans, bounded by Earhart Boulevard, Carrollton Avenue, Loyola Avenue and Iberville Street. The BioDistrict is focused on the development of a biosciences industry in New Orleans that will provide world-class biosciences research and development; local, regional, and global healthcare delivery; and stable, high-paying jobs for professionals, managers and workers representing a wide range of skills. Through partnerships among major educational and research institutions, private companies, government agencies and independent foundations, BioDistrict New Orleans will create opportunities for workforce training and research needed to build a successful biosciences industry.
The BioDistrict Board of Commissioners is comprised of 15 members, and is currently fully seated. Board members include representatives from each of the major academic and medical institutions, including Xavier University, Delgado Community College, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, and Ochsner Health System. The Board also includes four appointments from the Governor of Louisiana and one from the Department of Louisiana Economic Development (LED). In addition, the Mayor of New Orleans has three appointments representing individuals from GNO, Inc., the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, The Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, and a seat for the Mayor at Large, currently filled by Deputy Mayor of New Orleans, Andrew Kopplin. James P. McNamara is the BioDistrict President and CEO.
In order to realize its vision and accomplish its mission, BioDistrict New Orleans has been given a $2.4 million grant by the Louisiana Recover Authority to conduct a four-phase, 14-month master planning process. This master plan has now been completed and the unanimously adopted by the Board of Commissioners. The plan included a comprehensive analysis of the BioDistrict’s current status coupled with an extensive outreach to local communities, businesses, educators, and civic and political leaders. The results are an impressive blueprint for the development of a world-class biosciences hub will allow New Orleans into truly enter the Innovation Economy based on the research strengths of LSU, Tulane and Xavier Universities.
The BioDistrict Plan recommendations for tangible and attainable goals plan to take advantage of the area’s urban design character, infrastructure and utility systems, community setting and economic and market advantages.
CIVIC LEADERSHIP: A major component of creating a healthy, smart and sustainable BioDistrict in New Orleans is for its representative state agency to serve as a leader of advocacy that will solidify improvement, opportuntity and real results. The BioDistrict serves as the ongoing ambassador and liaison between the city, state and federal government, private businesses, and educational institutions.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: BioDistrict New Orleans is focused on creating and sustaining an economic development engine for our community through globally competitive bioscience and environmental research and development. By enhancing opportunities for commercialization and innovation, we will strengthen seed and venture capital, as well as create incentives to encourage investment. This economic development will create an estimated 34,000 new jobs for the city of New Orleans over the next eight to ten years, not only in the biosciences, but also in banking, law, construction and a plethora of other service industries that stand to benefit. Already, the BioDistrict is continually working to provide technical assistance, grant writing and other means of facilitation to encourage growth. By encouraging public-private partnerships and collaboration between our cornerstone institutions, the BioDistrict will create a sustainable and resilient innovation economy for the greater New Orleans region. [Read More]
Job Creation, Education and Training
WORKFORCE: BioDistrict New Orleans works to provide educational training and workforce development opportunities based on the emerging jobs in our community focused on biotechnology, bioscience, and medical research and development. It is essential that we expand local employment opportunities that provide the foundation for viable careers. Some of BioDistrict New Orleans’ current workforce development projects include curriculum development, bringing together government and educational entities to expand exposure to the healthcare industry in elementary and secondary schools, writing grants to bolster research technician opportunities, and locating the new Math and Science Charter High School in the BioDistrict. [Read More]