Bus Tour for BIO Conference Participants Highlight the Benefits of Locating in Metrowest
On Friday, June 8th, 50 executives from Life Sciences companies boarded a bus in Boston and took the 30-minute ride to Framingham and Natick. The executives, who had attended the international BIO Conference that took place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), stayed an extra day to check out the opportunities that the Metrowest region can offer their growing businesses.
The extensive visit allowed participants to get a sense of the region as a lower-cost, high-quality alternative to the region’s Life Sciences hub in Boston and Cambridge. After boarding a bus at the BCEC, the visitors – who came from countries that included Australia, India, and South Korea – learned first-hand of the relatively short distance between Framingham and Boston. After arriving at 1 Grant Street in Framingham, the location of Alira Health, a growing life sciences firm, participants were welcomed by State Senator Karen Spilka; Travis McCready, CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center; Paul Matthews of the 495 Metrowest Partnership; and representatives from Framingham and Natick’s governments.
“We were happy to join with local life sciences industry executives, as well as with the Town of Natick and the Metrowest Chamber of Commerce to help organize this visit and to host these Life Sciences executives in Framingham,” said Arthur Robert, director of Framingham’s Community and Economic Development division. “Framingham and the Metrowest region have a lot to offer these companies in terms of quality of life and an educated workforce, but with lower overhead costs. And they were able to see that for themselves with this visit.”
The bus tour participants heard directly from the region’s Life Sciences executives, who could help to answer their questions on the benefits of Metrowest. A panel discussion that included individuals from AliraHealth, Sanofi Genzyme, Berg, Aleta BioTherapeutics, Boston Heart Diagnostics, and Virtech Bio were all on hand to describe their experiences and to highlight the emerging Metrowest Life Sciences Network that the sector is creating to help foster communication and a sense of community. The Metrowest Life Sciences Network organized the bus tour.
“We were really pleased to welcome these individuals from all over the world to the Metrowest region, and show them what communities like Framingham, Natick, and others in the area have to offer their growing businesses,” said Gabriele Brambilla, the CEO of Alira Health and a leader within the Metrowest Life Sciences Network.
Participants enjoyed lunch at Springdale Barrel Room, a taproom that is part of the award-winning Jack’s Abby Brewing Company’s growing presence in Downtown Framingham. The group then visited Sanofi Genzyme’s bio-manufacturing facility at the Framingham Tech Park. The group concluded the tour at ABI Lab, a life sciences incubator/bio-accelerator, in the Natick Business Park.
“Metrowest offers Life Sciences companies all of the benefits of Greater Boston’s highly-skilled workforce at a lower cost and with a high quality of life. We were happy to host this delegation here at ABI Lab so that they could see that Metrowest makes sense for so many in our sector,” said Gary Kaufman, a managing partner at ABI Lab in Natick, and a part of the Metrowest Life Sciences Network.
Tour participants told the Metrowest Daily News that they enjoyed their day in Framingham and Natick, and the experience gave them food for thought about their companies. “This is an absolutely amazing trip,” said Srinivasan Parthiban, the CEO of Vingyani, an artificial intelligence company based in India, to the paper. That was echoed by Tae Gyu Lee, president of South Korea’s Osong Medical Innovation Foundation, who told the Metrowest Daily News, “it was quite impressive.” As the newspaper reported, “At least a few businesspeople Friday said they would seriously consider setting up shop in the area.”