Revealing new research details S.D. biotech industry

This piece is presented by South Dakota Biotech.

A new study has some revealing findings about biotechnology in South Dakota.

Christoph Bausch

It was conducted by Christoph Bausch, who recently became chief science officer with SAB. Bausch will present his findings at Breakthrough, South Dakota Biotech’s annual summit and banquet June 15. For more information and to register, click here. We caught up with him for a preview.

You’ll be speaking on the state of biotechnology in South Dakota – a topic you delved into in recent months. Tell us a little about what kind of research and analysis you did.

This was a very personalized study for me and the state of South Dakota — a five-month, full-time project dive into South Dakota biotech.  I took both a top-down and bottoms-up approach. Top down: big-picture markets, U.S. industry sectors and market size, industry trends and more than 70 interviews; and bottom up: analyzed the facts and data regarding South Dakota biotech companies, analyzed South Dakota bioscience resources like faculty, facilities, funding, available bioscience workforce graduating from our state universities.

What sort of information will be you including in your overview of biotech in South Dakota?

I’m going to talk about where we are today in regards to bioscience in the state of South Dakota, attractive bioscience industry segments that leverage our strengths and how we can strategically grow our biotech industry.

Were there any key gaps that stood out to you that South Dakota should be addressing to strengthen its position and commitment with the industry?

There is a gap in equity capital for growth-stage companies — see below regarding what I mean by early, growth- and mature-stage companies — a lack of wet lab space for growth-stage companies, a gap in trained workforce for genomics and genetics, and 47 percent of bioscience graduates are finding employment outside the state, so for some graduates having more biotech job opportunities would likely lead to more grads finding employment in the state.

What was the most unexpected finding as you looked at biotech in the state?

South Dakota is a bit of a hotbed area for transgenic livestock and medical genomics, with both Sanford and Avera having state-of-the-art facilities, and both these industry segments require people trained in genomics and genetics, yet we have a very small locally produced and trained workforce with these disciplines.

You also have a new role, as chief science officer with SAB. What attracted you to that opportunity?

I’m a Midwestern farm boy from Nebraska with a Midwestern family and wanted nothing more than to stick around Sioux Falls and play an active role in growing the biotech industry.  I was fortunate that one of the most innovative biotech companies in South Dakota felt the same way!

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Revealing new research details S.D. biotech industry

A new study has some revealing findings about biotechnology in South Dakota.

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