In February 2012, the City of El Paso entered into an Economic Development Program Grant Agreement with the Medical Center of the Americas (MCA) Foundation that will result in an estimated $60 million over 18 years from the City’s Impact Fund, which comes from the El Paso Electric Company Franchise Fee.
With these funds -- which the MCA intends to leverage with other funding sources, such as philanthropy, grants, lease income, service/royalty income, etc. -- the MCA will: build the TTUHSC Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing building; build an 80,000-square-foot public-private biomedical research and technology building; acquire land; and develop parking on the MCA campus. In addition, the MCA will launch the BioMedical Institute of the Americas (BMIA), an institute created to enhance the flow of biomedical science to innovation, innovation to solution and solution to marketplace in the Paso del Norte region.
In order to be truly successful, the Paso del Norte region must distinguish itself from other biomedical clusters by coming together in a strong and meaningful collaboration. The MCA is leading the effort to create this collaboration by launching the BMIA through which it will engage regional stakeholders; streamline process for research, translational medicine and biomedical competitiveness; attract net new funding to the region; market the region’s biomedical assets and capabilities to attract researchers, other talent and companies.
The economic development of the construction projects, the biomedical cluster development and biotech company creation and attraction will be one of the most significant in our region’s history. The inspired acts of City Council to provide a portion of its Impact Funding to the MCA has prompted stakeholders in Las Cruces to begin seeking funds from New Mexico, leveraging the Impact Funds even more and creating a truly unique statement to the world regarding the Paso del Norte’s competitiveness and capability in the biotech industry.
The MCA Foundation proposes to comprehensively apply the 75% of the City of El Paso Impact Fund to achieve targeted biomedical technology-based economic development in the El Paso Metropolitan Service Area (MSA) and across the Paso del Norte region. The focus of our initiative is to build the biomedical “innovation pipeline” or industry cluster and infrastructure. This will help the Paso del Norte region grow and capture the value of biomedical research and innovation in our economy — helping enhance our citizens’ healthcare and quality of life while building a diverse array of employment opportunities. By building the region’s innovation pipeline, biomedical science will be better linked to the marketplace and biomedical industry growth will be accelerated.
The outcome of the use of these funds over the term of their use will be:
- Formation of new enterprise: Enabled by the identification of a distinctive critical mass of biomedical research and moving it to the bedside of patients as new biomedical technology & devices.
- Expansion of existing business: Achieved by providing regional biomedical companies with access to advantages in facility, technology, workforce, financial and logistics inputs needed to grow individually and as an emerging cluster with deeper links with cross-border biomedical production companies.
- Attraction of new industry: Drawing the operations of non-local biomedical companies to our region due to availability of matching leading edge science research and development capabilities, skilled workforce and strategic locational advantages pertaining to the region’s special population characteristics.