Life Science Tennessee, BioTN Foundation Align to Grow Bioscience Industry and STEM Education in TN

Strategic alignment will focus on workforce development and STEM educational initiatives

Nashville, Tenn. – Life Science Tennessee (LST), a statewide member organization for life science companies, research institutions and economic development groups, and BioTN, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to expanding science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, today announced the formation of a strategic partnership to advance the dual mission to grow the bioscience industry and STEM education across the state of Tennessee. 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.

“The BioTN Foundation has promoted improved educational opportunities for Tennessee students, particularly minority and underserved students, for over a decade,” said Dr. Sam Lynch, co-founder and chairman of BioTN and CEO and chairman of Lynch Biologics. “This alignment with Life Science Tennessee will greatly enhance BioTN’s reach across Tennessee and provide additional opportunities to advance STEM education, leading to new advancements in life science investment and economic development in the state.

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 Life Science 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.”

About Life Science Tennessee

Life Science Tennessee is a statewide, nonprofit, member organization whose mission is to advance and grow the life science industry in Tennessee through advocacy, partnerships and alignment with economic and workforce development. Members include companies, universities, research institutions, government and economic development groups and other industry associations involved in discovery and application of life science products and related services that improve the health and wellbeing of people throughout the world. LST conducts business and economic development activities; advocates on behalf of the industry; educates the public about the benefits of life sciences research and product development; and provides a network for the exchange of ideas, information and opportunities.

About BioTN Foundation

BioTN is a 501c3 foundation co-founded by Drs. Sam Lynch and Leslie Wisner-Lynch to promote, within the state of Tennessee, the Southeastern U.S. and beyond: 1. Knowledge of, and education in, STEM and the biosciences; 2. Innovation and entrepreneurship in STEM and the biosciences; and 3. The positive impact of STEM and the biosciences on human health. Dr. Leslie Wisner-Lynch served as Gov. Phil Bredesen’s Designated Chair for the STEM Advisory Council for the STEM Innovation Network as part of Tennessee’s $500M Race to the Top federal education reform funding program. We believe that through investment in three critical areas—education, workforce development and entrepreneurship—our state will continue to grow into a major hub of research and development that will improve the lives of Tennesseans, as well as those that benefit from Tennessee products around the world.