BioBusiness Alliance, LifeScience Alley Form Partnership

The two organizations will share a CEO beginning November 1 and will leverage their strengths by working together under a common strategy.

The two largest nonprofit groups representing Minnesota's life-science industry said Thursday that they have formed a partnership that will help the state to compete on a global scale.

LifeScience Alley and The BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota aren't actually merging, but they will share a CEO-current BioBusiness Alliance CEO Dale Wahlstrom-starting November 1. LifeScience Alley CEO Don Gerhardt previously announced plans to retire this year and will do so after a short, upcoming transition period.

The BioBusiness Alliance is an industry-led organization whose broad mission is to advance bioscience-related industries to create jobs for Minnesota residents. Last year, it created a 20-year, statewide roadmap called “Destination 2025” that contains specific recommendations to ensure the long-term success of Minnesota's bioscience industry. LifeScience Alley, meanwhile, is a 635-member trade association that focuses on education, networking, and advocacy.

The BioBusiness Alliance, which has eight employees, and LifeScience Alley, which has 11, are already situated in the same St. Louis Park building. Under the partnership, the two organizations will retain their independent missions, identities, staff, and boards of directors, but they will operate under the same over-arching strategy. The executive committees of both boards will form a joint strategic committee to guide that strategy.

Representatives from both organizations said by phone Thursday that they'll be able to accomplish more together than they could alone. For example, take the burgeoning animal health and vaccine industry in the west-central part of the state. Using LifeScience Alley's networking expertise and the BioBusiness Alliance's project management strengths, the organizations may be able to help leverage those industry skills and make better use of them throughout the state.

“The affiliation will strengthen the regional economy by assisting in the growth of established and emerging companies, and attracting new companies, talent, and capital,” Wahlstrom said in a statement.