New grant will accelerate job creation, economic development in East Bay

Pleasant Hill, Calif. – Bay Area congressional leaders today (Wednesday, Nov. 28) announced a $2.2 million investment by five federal agencies that will help create high quality regional jobs in bioscience and medicine manufacturing and make Northern California an epicenter for biotech careers and innovation.

iStock image

The Advanced Manufacturing Medical/Biosciences Pipeline for Economic Development (AM2PED) will build a regional innovation ecosystem for technology transfer, economic development and workforce development in medical device and bioscience manufacturing along the I-80/880 corridor in the East Bay, which includes the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Congressmen John Garamendi, George Miller and Jerry McNerney, joined by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, believe the plan will be a catalyst for job creation and leveraging private capital. Garamendi, Miller, McNerney and Lee have all advocated for strategies to Make It In America, an initiative to rebuild America’s manufacturing sector, support innovation and encourage job creation.

“I have long advocated for better integration between public research and private job creation. Many of the high tech success stories that helped build America’s middle class originated with this type of technology transfer,” Garamendi said. “I’m excited that the AM2PED is moving forward, because it’s an opportunity to Make It In America and create good local jobs in manufacturing and research.”

“The last decade has seen a sea-change in our campus-wide investments in high-tech laboratories and the fostering of entrepreneurial educational programs,” said Paul Wright, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and CITRIS@Berkeley. “These shorten the pipeline between fundamental research in science and engineering and the creation of start-ups, the scaling to large industries and, of course, the important result of new jobs in California and the nation. This new award is a further accelerator of such an ecosystem. UC Berkeley is proud to be on the team that will make sure these new products and services will be Made in America.”

AM2PED partner organizations include the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County, East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA), Manex Consulting – A NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, UC Berkeley, Laney College and the Northern California Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. These partners will build connecting networks to link regional efforts focused on medical manufacturing and bio-sciences, constructing a virtual “one stop” center for technology innovation, investment and job creation. Some specific efforts include:

  • Establishing a regional intermediary to link disparate incubation strategies into a coordinated and industry-driven system
  • Creating a regional leadership team with industry and venture capitalists
  • Expediting feedback between research and industry through “reverse pitch” sessions focused on problem solving posed by industry and organization of research teams to enable on-site interaction between technology innovators and industry
  • Supporting entrepreneurs and spin-off companies through funding preparation and through connection of enterprises with established businesses and financial sector representatives, and through technical assistance focused on productivity, technology transfer, venture capital as well as private equity funding, and workforce development.

“This investment will help to strengthen the networks that help to drive job creation and create economic prosperity in the region. By infusing resources into efforts that support research and development of innovative technologies, the East Bay will continue its strong growth momentum and help create new businesses offering high-quality jobs,” said Stephen Baiter, executive director of the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County.