Bioscience district cuts 3D printer software to save $27,000

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July 24, 2020
Temple Daily Telegram | Shane Monaco

The Temple Health and Bioscience District will now save thousands of dollars in taxpayer money after cutting unused software Thursday.

Members of the district voted Thursday to approve not renewing a contract with a 3D printer software due to its lack of use. The move will save the district more than $27,000, which accounts for about 2.25 percent of the district’s annual budget.

The software was being used by a startup, SiMMo3D, which was a part of the district until it left due to the coronavirus.

“Since the software will no longer be utilized to its full potential, the cost was no longer warranted,” Tami Annable, executive director of the district, said. “At THBD, we are meticulous with our funds and make sure every dollar spent is spent for good reason and has a purpose. If there becomes a need in the future for the software, we can certainly relicense it.”

The software, Materialize Mimics Base, was a series of programs that increased the specificity of a model when it was being 3D printed.

District officials said this software was useful for some medical device projects that they were participating in. The software can take MRI or CAT scan images of an object and turn it into a file usable by 3D printers.

Annable said the software was also valuable as a teaching tool for both college and high school students working with these printers.

While the program’s license will no longer be renewed, the district said startup companies within its common laboratory can still use its 3D printer in which the software was not a critical component of.

Due to the effects of the coronavirus, the district is looking at ways it can significantly cut its budget in order to burden residents with fewer taxes. The district said it aims to get the most out of the tax money it receives as possible.

“(The district’s) aim is to take the lowest tax rate possible so that, in the current economic climate, we are not a burden for Temple citizens,” Annable said. “We are reviewing all programs to make sure the taxpayer dollars are getting the most value for the money spent.”

Source: https://kdhnews.com/news/region/bioscience-district-cuts-3d-printer-software-to-save-27-000/article_8cb14586-5230-5b7e-8b8d-50518ca0c389.html

Upping your wellness: Health webinar set July 28

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July 22, 2020
Temple Daily Telegram | Telegram Staff

The Temple Health and Bioscience District will hold “Upping Your Wellness Game,” a public health webinar, at noon Tuesday, July 28. Dr. Patricia Sulak of Baylor Scott & White Health and Living WELL AWARE program will offer six tips the public can follow to help strengthen immunity against the viral threat of COVID-19.

To register for the webinar, visit bit.ly/THBD72820.

Supporting Businesses of All Sizes in Temple

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In recent months, businesses of all sizes have been presented with a myriad of unexpected challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to embrace virtual technology and communication in new, unforeseen ways. Conversely, in Temple, many businesses have picked up to support medical and healthcare needs. The startup and small businesses housed within Temple Health and Bioscience District (THBD) are no different – amid the crisis, they search for new ways to soldier on in pursuit of innovation.

While headlines run rampant with business obstacles and restrictions, many entrepreneurs and financial analysts advise that now is the time for entrepreneurs and startups to dive into their ambitions. The primary reasons? New and small businesses can quickly adapt to emerging trends and needs during the pandemic. These ventures also cost less to operate and market and can operate with fewer employees at lower costs. For these reasons and more, what may seem like the worst time to start a business may very well be the best.

For individuals and companies looking to make waves in healthcare and medical technology, Temple, Texas takes center stage as an ideal location to get started. Within 180 miles of more than 80 percent of Texas’ population, Temple is easily accessible from metropolitan centers like Austin, Dallas and Houston. Temple boasts large local healthcare providers and institutes of higher education, and three medical schools and 10 major healthcare systems are located within 150 miles. The tools, resources and infrastructure are ripe for medical technology innovation in Temple.

At the center of these resources is THBD. With seven tenant offices, three tenant labs, 700 square feet of common lab space, administrative offices, conference rooms, and a break room, THBD offers the equipment and space for ideas to grow. Special equipment in the common lab includes an Instron E10000 Material Testing System, a Stratasys Objet350 Connex3 3-D Printer, a Leica LMD7000 Laser Microdissection Microscope System, a NanoString nCounter Analysis System, and other tissue culture and bioscience prototyping lab equipment.

While resources in Central Texas are ample, the special combination of accessibility and this level of equipment is unique to THBD. Jason H. Huang, MD, who serves as the Chairman at Department of Neurosurgery at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center and Professor of Surgery at Texas A&M Health Science Center utilized THBD to pursue pediatric neurology research.

“The resources provided by THBD, including biomechanical testing, 3D printing, and research grants, are otherwise unavailable to physicians and researchers in the city of Temple,” says Huang.

In addition to granting physicians and researchers access to these tools, THBD serves as a well-equipped home for startups and small businesses looking to leverage Central Texas’ strong life sciences community.

Colin Dodson, Co-Founder of SiMMo3D, calls THBD home. SiMMo3D uses THBD’s 3D printer to create customized, detailed replicas for surgical training.

“Being at the THBD allowed us to grow our business faster and in less time than on our own,” says Dodson. “The great equipment they had available helped us manufacture our products at a lower cost which helped us get to market faster.”

Another tenant at THBD, Stan Marrett, president of MR3 Health, has created an infrared dermal thermometer to monitor patients’ temperature and communicate with physicians. For patients dealing with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and congestive heart failure, this cloud technology can prevent serious complications.

“We look forward to continuing our research and building upon valuable partnerships in Temple to help patients and providers manage care effectively,” says Marrett. “We are excited to be part of the Temple Health and Bioscience ecosystem and we look forward to growing our presence in Temple.”

While now may be a great time for individuals like Marrett and Dodson to take the next step on their innovative path, there is no question it is wrought with many questions and challenges. In addition to providing space and equipment, THBD waved rent for April and May 2020 to help alleviate financial strains on tenants. Additionally, the incubator launched its monthly E-Learning Series Webinar in April to help tenants and the public continue business and stay healthy during this time.

As THBD continues to offer an ideal location for small to mid-size businesses, the incubator brings Temple into focus. The world is searching for answers and healthcare is changing rapidly. Texas Governor Greg Abbott perhaps summarized the capabilities of Temple best during a recent visit:

“When you look at Baylor Scott & White, the Texas A&M Health Science Center and coupled with it the Temple Health & Bioscience District, you can see Temple is evolving into a major regional hub for medical innovation.”

Bioscience industry study launched

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June 20, 2020
Temple Daily Telegram | By Shane Monaco

A new study will examine how Temple can expand its footprint in the bioscience industry.

Community leaders and local officials gathered at Temple College on Tuesday to hear about the Temple Health and Bioscience District’s new study. The study, to be conducted by Newmark Knight Frank Consultants, will look at what can be done to attract more bioscience business relocations and how to maintain current businesses.

District officials said the study, which will take about six to eight weeks to complete, was delayed until this month due to the coronavirus.

“There is going to be (about) short-term, medium-term and long-term goals,” Temple Economic Development Corp. President Adrian Cannady said. “There is going to be what we could do now… and the end is going to be what we could do going forward. It might take some time to get there because you might need a bigger school district or get more people.”

Consultants will examine how Temple compares to other cities when competing to bring in bioscience companies that might relocate.

Bob Hess, vice chairman of consulting for Newmark Knight Frank Consultants, said the firm will help Temple compete for businesses. A key benefit, he said, is Temple’s proximity to Austin, which has numerous tech firms and startups.

 “You can’t divorce yourself from Austin,” Hess said. “Hook on for the ride and go for it, but you also got your own identity.”

Hess mentioned that Temple’s business costs are cheaper than in Austin.

The consultants said they were in the process of talking to community representatives and local businesses to find out what Temple needs to do to attract more businesses.

Once the report is complete, the company will give the district a list of possible improvements, each with levels of importance and the ease at which they can be accomplished. These improvements will also be assigned to city organizations that can best implement these changes.

Bioscience District President Thomas Baird said it is important to know what direction a city needs to move in.

Baird said a city needs to know what goals are achievable for the community and how they can be accomplished.

 “We just want to make sure our goals and expectations for life sciences are real, achievable and will really benefit the community,” Baird said.