In March 2020, Life Science Tennessee (LST) announced that it formed a strategic partnership with BioTN, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to expanding science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. The alignment will harness BioTN’s focus on STEM education and workforce development with LST’s economic development and policy expertise to make Tennessee a major state for bioscience education and innovation.
Working together, LST and BioTN will focus their efforts on policies and programs that support economic and workforce development, including improving STEM education, expanding career training opportunities, increasing research and development, strengthening technology commercialization and being the central voice for the industry through lobbying, networking and business development. Each organization will maintain an independent structure with board crossover and shared management to ensure coordination.
A focus of the LST-BioTN alignment will be to build a pipeline of talent in STEM and bioscience fields. BioTN currently partners with STEM Preparatory Academy in Nashville, one of the most successful charter schools in the United States. But LST’s footprint will open the door for broader STEM education outreach and partnership statewide. Meanwhile, the alignment will continue to support life science startups through mentoring in the Mentor Network, a unique program that taps the expertise of more than 70 industry experts to develop quality early-stage companies so they are prepared to make pitches for investment.
“We are excited to deepen our workforce development efforts with BioTN while harnessing the industry expertise and network from Life Science Tennessee,” said Ted Townsend, board chairman for LST and chief economic development and government relations officer for the University of Memphis. “This alignment will also allow us to speak with a louder voice and provide further education regarding the benefits of life science innovations and how they improve health and wellbeing in Tennessee and beyond.”