Health Care Innovation Blueprint Unveiled

Salt Lake City is the center of the health care innovation industry in Utah and one of the fastest-growing health care clusters in the nation. Late last month, Salt Lake City Mayor, Erin Mendenhall joined leaders in the BioTech industry to announce the completion of the “Health care Innovation Blueprint,” a plan that will help bolster our economy locally while also making a massive impact on global health.

As Clark Cahoon, Technology and Innovation Adviser for SLC’s Department of Economic Development said, “The idea is to refocus the City’s economic development efforts to proactively capitalize on our strong foundation of health care innovation assets – universities, hospitals, businesses, associations, nonprofits – to expand economic opportunity and improve health and well-being for all residents.”

The blueprint outlines recommendations in four areas to build the industry and create more job opportunities: 

Brand, Promote, Grow
Growing and maintaining Salt Lake City’s reputation as one of the nation’s top locations for health care innovation is instrumental to the city’s success.

Increase Investment
With the objective of increasing social and income mobility through the health care innovation industry, the City can help inform and connect available public and private funding to support the innovation ecosystem in the City.

Emphasize Pathways & Partnerships
Available, accessible, and affordable education and training opportunities are imperative to supply as workforce for Salt Lake City’s fast-growing health care innovation economy.

Strengthen Foundation & Remove Barriers
Salt Lake City’s health care innovation ecosystem is only as strong as the foundation that supports it. Streamlined regulations and up-to-date information can help the industry flourish.

Salt Lake has a unique opportunity to capitalize on our strong foundation in the booming life sciences industry which will expand economic opportunity and improve health and well-being for all residents. This emphasis on healthcare innovation and life sciences is not just an economic development strategy, it will also serve the public good, helping Salt Lake City residents have access to world-class innovations and jobs that will benefit public health globally.

In addition to unveiling “A Blueprint for Growing Salt Lake City’s Health Care Economy,” Mayor Mendenhall highlighted the potential and dynamism of the industry by announcing that clinical-stage biotech company Recursion seeks to more than double the size of its west downtown footprint and that Denali Therapeutics, which develops therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, plans to open offices and manufacturing space nearby.

“Salt Lake City is the center of the health care innovation industry in Utah and one of the fastest-growing health care clusters in the nation,” said Mayor Mendenhall. “Today, we celebrate this blueprint that will not only bolster our economy locally, but will also have massive impacts on global health and well-being as a result of the progress we’ve made and the innovations to come.”

The new economic development approach was developed for the City by the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, with the involvement of an Advisory Group composed of diverse stakeholders from business, academia, government, and community.

Read the full Blueprint here.