Updated Master Plan to accelerate the development of the bioscience and healthcare industries in New Orleans

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BioDistrict positioning the community to be a global leader in the bioscience and healthcare industries by focusing on workforce training

BioDistrict is an original Funder of the Workforce Collaboration

BioDistrict is an original Funder of the Workforce Collaboration

The BioDistrict continues its’ effort to position the city for continued growth in the bioscience healthcare sectors. By strengthening and growing our local workforce we can ensure the maximum benefit is created for our citizens and for of our beloved city. Through employer engaged workforce training we can develop long term sustainable career ladders our citizens need and and industry growth requires.

An Inspiring Opportunity

The process began with an information session was held at Providence Community Housing where jobseekers were given the opportunity to hear about the program. A total of 504 applications were received for the medical assistant training program for jobseekers.The partnership team whittled down the applications to 52 potential applicants which are being interviewed by Ochsner for potential employment once the training was completed.  A huge part of the effort  was a commitment by by Ochsner and Delgado to develop a new curriculum for this position. The newly crafted curriculum will be used and shared as a template for other hospital employers as the program moves into new partnerships with area health provider systems.


Last Friday night, a block away from the New Orleans Arena where the Pelicans were celebrating their home opener, the 50 graduates and their families gathered to celebrate their achievement. This was one of those major moments for the City as we shift the paradigm in favor of higher wage sustainable employment in the bioscience\healthcare industry. As Dr. Larissa Littleton Steib, Delgado College’s Vice Chancellor of Workforce Development and Technical Education said, “You are the best and brightest, and because of your commitment to execllence you have much to be proud of. You own your success.” I hope that becomes a regular conversation in New Orleans.

Congratulations to the Graduates of the inaugural class of Medical Assistants of the NOW Partnership to complete the new Bioscience\Healthcare partnership training.
Jobs are waiting for them at Ochsner Health System.

BioDistrict List of Accomplishments Under the Leadership of President & CEO James P. McNamara 2008 – 2013


·       Governor Kathleen Blanco appoints first members to the Board of Commissioners and Mr. McNamara was elected the First Chairman of the Board in June 2008;

·     Organized and branded BioDistrict New Orleans (formerly known as the Greater New Orleans Biosciences Economic Development District (GNOBEDD)), recruited Board Members and wrote the short term Goals and Objectives for the District’s first year of operations;

·       Organized the preparation and adoption the District’s original and revised By-Laws;

·       Obtained a $625,000 allocation from the Legislative but was vetoed by Gov. Bobby Jindal citing the District’s authority to levy taxes and fees;

·       Established a business office and presence on the web via Website, Facebook and Twitter

·       Developed and Board adopted 5 year Business Plan 2012 – 2017;

·       Developed and Board approved operating budgets for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013;

·       Passed new legislation refining the BioDistrict name, powers, mission and boundaries in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013;

·       First public body to provide community leadership by formally supporting (via Board Resolution) the recruitment of the Veterans Administration to build a replacement hospital within the boundaries of the BioDistrict New Orleans;

·       Facilitated the expansion research program opportunities to include Xavier University (the second Historically Black College or University to be affiliated with the VA research program) and Pennington Biomedical Research;

·       First public body to provide community leadership by formally supporting (via Board Resolution) the development of the new University Medical Center in New Orleans within the boundaries of the BioDistrict New Orleans; Obtained a $704,000 allocation from the Legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Bobby Jindal citing the District’s authority to levy taxes and fees;


·       Obtained $2.4M grant from LRA to develop the Master Development Plan and Strategic Roadmap for industry development based on university innovation and commercialization potential;

o   Conducted numerous public planning sessions and interviews involving over 1,300 people;

o   Developed coordinated plan for implementation of development strategies in alignment with City Land Use Plan and proposed Comprehensive Zoning Code;

o   Developed coordinated strategies for the implementation of a District wide plan for: Transportation, Communication, Waste, Storm Water, Energy, Building Scale and Design, Social Impact and Emergency Management;

o   Lead the development of a down stream storm water management plan to abate localized street flooding within the District;

o   Participated in the State Facilities Planning and Control 18 month Section 106 study on the potential re-use of old Charity Hospital;

o   Won a Rockefeller Grant to construct a broadband pilot program for Lafitte\Treme, Iberville and Gert Town to be centered at 1515 Poydras. In conjunction with the pilot program developed matrix to measure the effectiveness on housing, employment and health outcomes;

o   Completed first ever analysis and cataloging of the research strengths at LSU, Tulane and Xavier Universities approved by the respective VP’s of Research;

o   Developed alignment of the above work with the Board of Regents Louisiana First plan and Louisiana Economic Development Blue Ocean Strategies;

o   Reviewed options for sustainable revenue sources including sales tax TIF, District Development Fund, and levying property tax millage;




·       Founding member of the New City Partnership that provided coordination of employment and housing options for new workforce centered around the Lafitte\Treme Housing redevelopment;

·       Presentation to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan on the importance of integrated planning that created a livable community connecting housing, healthcare, new schools and adult employment training, retail and the employment centers. This lead to New Orleans being awarded:

o   A $32 million Choice Neighborhood Initiative for the redevelopment of Iberville Housing Project;

o   A $2 million Tiger II Grant to study the Claiborne Corridor;

o   Served on the Steering Committee for the White House SC2 Initiative for economic development, workforce development and healthcare;

·       Assisted in the development of the South Market District, COSTCO, the Hyatt Regency and new Broad Street Whole Food Store by providing the developers with employment and housing demand projections;

·       Selected by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to present at a national webinar the District plan as a model for connecting housing to the employment centers;   

·       Co-hosted with the Horizon Initiative and the New Orleans Chapter of Accelerated Corporate Growth (ACG) the first, “Yes to Business: Biotech” luncheon featuring Mr. James C. Greenwood, President and CEO of BIO highlighting the importance of the District and Industry Sector to New Orleans. Subsequent years included:

o   Biotech II featured LSU Economist Dr. James A. Richardson discussing the economic benefits of the BioDistrict;

o   Biotech III featured Urban Land Institute Director and former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy to discuss the importance of the BioDistrict plan implementation to the long term growth of the City and the Region; and,

o   Biotech IV is currently being planned for April 2014 with feature an international leader in System Biology. To date, we have secured $40,000 in sponsorship commitments;

·       Convened Bio Summits with partnering EDO’s Louisianan Economic Development (LED) Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.), the New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC) and the Downtown Development District (DDD) in January 2011, October, 2012 and May, 2013;

·       Co-Hosted with Xavier University and Board of Regents EPSCoR, a statewide Bioscience Academia-Industry Collaboration Workshop;

·       Executed an Memorandum Of Understanding with World Trade Center New Orleans to promote international trade;

·       Participated in the effort to reorganize the $90,000 matching grant from the Baptist Charitable Mission from its original intended purpose to: 1) the creation of a Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in New Orleans; and, 2) an analysis of the regional Healthcare\Bioscience Workforce.  As part of the grant reorganization request, Mr. McNamara led the effort to secure private sector matching grants and equalize the contributions of the institutional partners LSU, Tulane, and Xavier. Both programs were completed with the long term leveraging of grant resulting in:

o   Information used by Regional Workforce Investment Board to increase their forecast for new employment opportunities in healthcare\bioscience;

o   Information used by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the City, to apply and win a $300,000 National Workforce Solutions Grant;

§  Partnership funded between Ochsner and Delgado for 50 Med Assistants;

§  New funding round has been secured;

·       Increasing university research through outside investment and collaboration based on local university research strengths, facilities and population health trends;

o   Executed Memorandum Of Understanding and began development of a multi-partner collaboration between Tulane, Xavier and Tufts Universities

§  Resulted in identify two key projects to seek private funding;

§  Medical Student and Residency exchange program;

o   Entered into Memorandum Of Understanding with Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and the Beacon Council;

o   Potential collaboration funding being reviewed (funded in part by the US\UK governments and Pharma) to encourage collaboration between research clusters involving multi-universities in targeted chronic disease categories of Diabetes, Cancer, Neurology, Obesity, Dementia and Drug dependence;

o   Similar program development underway with bioclusters:

§   Cancer-Bio-Santé (Toulouse & Limoges)

§   Biopolis Singapore

·       Led the effort to retain State Capital Outlay for the development of the BioInnovation Center; and then later, to increase State Capital Outlay by $23.8 million to insure the development of the BioInnovation Center;

·       Assisted NOBIC Board and Management in the negotiations with the State and the Lessor on the acceptance of the Business Plan;

·       Led a delegation of New Orleanians to Atlanta and Chicago to recruit former New Orleans researchers to return home;

·       Obtained a $100,000 Grant from the State of Louisiana for operations;

·       Led a delegation of New Orleanians to Washington DC to discuss the creation of: 1) an Early Stage Innovation Fund; 2) the extension of the SBIR grant program; and, 3) an extension of the Federal Renewal Community;

·       Created Science and Technology Advisory Committee of 35+ industry executives to assist in the introduction of New Orleans based research. Meetings quarterly;

·       Created a Senior Executive Venture Fund Advisory Committee of 30+ industry executives to assist in the introduction and funding of New Orleans based research. Meetings quarterly;

·       First to sign on to NOLATech Week as a Marquee Partner. Event hosted 10+ events citywide events that involved 1,000 participants;

·       Assisted GNO, Inc., in the passage of the MediFund Act of 2013;

·       Assisted New Orleans Business Alliance in the preparation of marketing material and site visits;

Education and Workforce Development

·       Signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with LA Superintendent of Education, Paul Pastorek, to establish Louisiana’s first Biotech Career Pathway Curriculum;

·       Assisted in the development of Science, Technology, Math and Engineering (STEM) educational programming:

o   Science and Math High School

§  Facilitated the development of attenuated programming with Delgado

§  Served as in kind consultant on the site selection, project planning and financing of a new 550 student school within the District

§  Reached agreement with OPSB on potential funding source to cover $8 million construction gap

o   Archbishop Rummel High School – Served as advisor for the new Biomedical Science Program

o   Booker T Washington Biotech\Healthcare Votech High School working on establishing a curriculum with the Recovery School District – 2017 roll-out;

Branding and Marketing

·       Created Louisiana’s first searchable database of bioscience researchers at LSU, Tulane and Xavier. Database is cross-referenced by disciplines, grants and past affiliations;

·       Gained significant notoriety in local, regional and industry news media, including feature stories in The Times-Picayune, New Orleans City Business, all local television affiliates and Healthcare IT News, with public awareness and earned media coverage increasing consistently each year.

·       Garnered more than 97 million positive media impressions for the healthcare and biosciences industry in New Orleans since 2008.

o   15.2 million in November 2013 alone

o   On track to break 100 million by May 2014

·       Created an 800+/- strong social network of supporters backed by a 12,500+/- emailing list. Published over 75 newsletters

·       Marketing efforts currently reaching 750,000 people per month through newsletter and social media outlets;

·        Hosted networking events for interaction of all interested stakeholders:

o   600 attended Film Screening – DeBakey, The Documentary

o   Worked with New Orleans Film Society to science and medical films and documentaries

o   BioBreakfast Club – 6 meetings per year. This event focuses on building local interest in marketing and investing in home grown talent and product development.

·       Secured the Association of University Research Parks 25th Annual International Convention – largest attendance in association history. BioDistrict chaired the Fundraising effort securing $125,000 to offset convention costs;

·       Started a cross-marketing campaign with the New Orleans Convention Center and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau to recruit medically related conventions. The program also includes the opportunity to add local content to the shows advancing major collaborations between New Orleans researchers and the best in the world:

o   Obtained $230,000 in Health IT training from the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS).   Providing to training to 250 citizens resulting in 12 people securing employment in health IT;

o   Obtained a 3-year commitment to host an International Conference on Personalized Medicine. Recruited 3 international experts to serve on the Global Host Committee. Anticipated turnout of 700 -2500 researchers and industry executives. Inaugural meeting December 2014. Main Sessions, Panel formation, format development underway and Sponsorship program underway. Expected pre launch sponsorship commitments of  $100,000;

§  Commitment used as the first and largest commitment to secure federal funding for NOREIA Grant involving multi partners in conjunction with UNO and the Regional Planning Committee;

o   Obtained donations for area high schools of medical mannequins (12 total);

o   Donation of teaching equipment used on the convention floor to area schools

o   Marketing the Simulation Centers at Tulane, LSU and Delgado as a source for continuing education programming;  

o   Conventions industry recruitments meetings for 20+ large and medium size conventions to New Orleans;

o   Hosted the top senior executives meet and greet to introduce New Orleans research capabilities with the following conventions:

§  HIMSS – 300 top industry executives invited;

§  American Society of Cell Biology – 150 top industry executives invited including 2011, 2012 and 2013 Nobel Laureates;

§  American Society of Hematology – private reception for 15+/- world’s leading geneticists.

American Society for Cell Biology and BioDistrict New Orleans Collaborate

AM email banner (2)


Partnership to enhance scientific research and workforce development in New Orleans.

The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and BioDistrict New Orleans announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding designed to promote the organizations’ shared goal of enhancing scientific research in New Orleans while promoting professional and workforce development. This partnership is also part of a continuing outreach by the BioDistrict to increase the number and attractiveness of biopharmaceutical conventions to New Orleans.

BioDistrict New Orleans acts to foster collaboration and interaction among bioscience researchers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, leaders and institutions across the community. The BioDistrict’s main focus is on building alliances across the state and industry sectors to educate the public and advocate for policies to strengthen the growth of Louisiana’s bioscience industry. Cell biology, the basis of all life and the building block of what is called “P4 medicine” (predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory, is a critical component to enhancing scientific research at the BioDistrict member universities and the new VA and UMC hospitals.

“At ASCB, we know that basic biology research is driving the medical and economic revolution of the 21st century,” says Stefano Bertuzzi, PhD, Executive Director of the American Society for Cell Biology. “The new BioDistrict is vivid proof that New Orleans ‘gets it.’ It’s a natural alliance between the world’s largest society of research cell biologists and a famous city committed to science, education, and entrepreneurship.”

In December 2013, the ASCB and BioDistrict partnership will launch when New Orleans hosts the ASCB Annual Meeting. A premier, international meeting in the field of cell biology, the ASCB plans for scientists, teachers, and students to participate in more than 100 scientific sessions and 2,500 poster sessions to experience the latest in scientific advancements.

“We’re excited about having ASCB here in New Orleans and showcasing our emerging bio-industry,” said BioDistrict President and CEO James P. McNamara. “With our shared goals of enhancing scientific discovery and developing a skilled workforce, the collaboration between ASCB and BioDistrict is a natural fit. We’re particularly looking forward to kicking off the partnership by hosting ASCB at their annual meeting in December and getting to know leaders in the Cell Biology technology fields.”

About ASCB:

ASCB is an inclusive, international community of biologists studying the cell, the fundamental unit of life. ASCB works to advance scientific discovery, advocate sound research policies, improve education, promote professional development, and increase diversity in the scientific workforce.

BioDistrict Board Meeting – March 20, 2013

Official Minutes of the Board of Commissioners Meeting

Board Meeting 3-20-13

Special Meeting of the BioDistrict New Orleans Board of Commissioners

Date: July 19, 2013

Cancelled for the lack of a quorum

BioDistrict Legislative Actions – 2013


The 2013 Legislative Session is over and three new ACTS have passed that will assist in the development of the BioDistrict or in the creation of the ecosystem supporting the bioscience industry:

ACT 67

Act 67 of 2013 grants the BioDistrict additional authority to act within the boundaries of the New Orleans Central Business District. This new authority provides us with the opportunity to finance, develop and assist companies and products in the emerging bioscience, Health IT industries. It also provides us with the authority to finance the construction of additional housing, retail, office, green spaces and related specialized facilities that create the sustainably built environment that nurtures the Innovation Economy in New Orleans.

Act 227

Act 227 of 2013 gives the Commissioner of Administration the authority to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with the BioDistrict New Orleans to provide for the development of a new Orleans Parish Civil District Court Complex.

ACT 320

Act 320 of 2013 – establishes the Medifund, which is a special fund for advancement of seven biosciences, biomedical and medical centers of excellence statewide.

BioDistrict President & CEO called this session, “the District’s most critical session, as we move from planning into execution. Aligned public policy that provides new a source of capital is a pivotal element of our holistic approach to sustained economic development.” The other elements are: workforce development, specialized facilities, education, solid research and innovation.







Helpful Info

BioDistrict New Orleans

1515 Poydras Street, Suite 150
New Orleans, LA 70112

Telephone: 504-593-6454