The three-day World Stem Cell Summit may have concluded on Friday, Dec. 5, but its impact on San Antonio could be felt for decades, said StemBioSys co-founder Steven Davis, who was also one of the bioscience industry leaders responsible for bringing the global conference to the city.
What did San Antonio gain from hosting the 10-year-old summit for the first time?
“Exposure. The ability to show off the resources we have,” said Davis, who helped convince the summit’s founder, Genetics Policy Institute Executive Director Bernard Siegel, to bring the event to South Texas. “I really believe we have unique, deep, sophisticated resources. Now, a lot of people realize what we have here.”
Davis said San Antonio has been one of the “best-kept secrets” in the bioscience industry — particularly with regard to its advancements in the regenerative medicine arena. However, with some 1,200 summit attendees from roughly 40 countries converging on San Antonio for the World Stem Cell Summit, the city has gained important international recognition.
“It’s surprising how many of the people who came here [for the summit] had never been to San Antonio before and really didn’t know what we have,” Davis said.
Industry experts from a dozens of countries, including Japan, Vietnam, and South Africa, now have a better understanding of the level of work with which companies, academic institutions and the U.S. military are engaged in San Antonio with regard to regenerative medicine.
In addition, a number of San Antonio organizations had an opportunity to make presentations to investors at the first World Stem Cell RegMed (regenerative medicine) Capital Conference.
“We had visitors from the investor community who had never been here before,” Davis said. “They will look more seriously at San Antonio companies now that they have had an opportunity to see what is going on here.
“I think we’ve put ourselves on the map in the world of regenerative medicine,” he added. “I think we can differentiate ourselves because we have unique facilities. We have pieces of the puzzle that are important — that other communities don’t have.”