A biomedical research leader who cut his teeth by boosting the research park at Wake Forest University said Augusta is on the right track in boosting its own bioscience industry.
Dr. Jay Moskowitz spent Tuesday with the city's medical, business and political leaders, touring both bioscience incubators.
Augusta just needs collaboration and a passionate leader to propel the effort, he said. The city has spent the past decade building its fledgling bioscience industry, filling two incubators with start-up companies.
"A lot of the infrastructure is already here. When you get that passionate leader to work with other leaders ... things will move forward in an accelerated pace," Moskowitz said.
Moskowitz is the president of Health Sciences South Carolina, a collaboration of hospitals and universities attempting to expand the state's economy and improve public health through medical research.
"You have to engage the community; that's why I always start with the chamber of commerce to get that business community. I go to state government and federal government to really bring together that coalition of people who may not have been on the same page," Moskowitz said. "Then it takes off."
Moskowitz said Augusta's problem is not a lack of business space for new biotech companies. A leader needs to get the inventors to see the business opportunities of their ideas and research, he said.
Moskowitz suggested that Augusta showcase all the research that's being done within its medical community.
"It is just getting people excited," Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver said. "The main thing to me is Augusta used to be us vs. them, people were protectionist. It's got to be about collaboration."
Moskowitz met with the mayor's economic development council and toured the Medical College of Georgia life science incubator and the Augusta BioBusiness Center, established by the Georgia Medical Center Authority on Broad Street.