Scott Callison has a vision for creating a biotech incubation center in Davie County. The Davie County Bio-Center would accelerate the successful development of start-up and early-stage R&D driven companies active in the biotechnology and related life sciences sectors.
STEM Education for students ~ As envisioned by Dr. Callison, The Davie County Bio-Center would provide real world science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities for students from the Davie County High School, Early College and DCCC Community College programs. The STEM learning opportunities would include student lead research and development (R&D) projects addressing practical, real-world problems.
Supported by scientists at the center, students would formulate hypothesis, conduct research on current knowledge, design experiments to test the hypothesis, collect and analyze data from experiments and publish a report on the findings. Scott envisions a process whereby student R&D work could lead to publication in peer reviewed scientific journals. In addition to engaging students in relevant, problem solving and project-based learning, this hands-on experience would provide Davie County students with a competitive advantage over other students bound for college and careers in the 21st century.
STEM Education for adults ~ Dr. Callison also envisions STEM education opportunities for adults looking at new careers or skills to help with daily tasks and decisions. This might include community seminars featuring speakers from the scientific community presenting on topics of general interest or current event relevance. One example Dr. Callison talks about is the topic of immunization. With H1N1 and seasonal flu shots featured in news stories almost daily, the center could provide a community education seminar on the science behind vaccines, how they are developed, why they work, and the benefits of vaccinations to the health of their families. The STEM education initiative for adults might also include periodic newsletters and web based materials.
Local Economic Benefits ~ While the failure rate for newly opened small businesses over 5 years exceeds 50%, studies have shown that 87% of businesses graduating from incubators are still in business 5 years later and that 85% of those are operating in the same community. A biotech/life sciences incubation center in Davie County would both leverage and strengthen other investments in life-sciences that have seen significant growth in Davie County in 2009. The community can harness long term benefits from a successful incubator as companies graduate from the incubator and pay taxes on earnings, provide local jobs, and build value into the local tax base.
Local talent a significant plus ~ Strong incubators facilitate scientific information exchange, industry partnerships and professional networking opportunities for scientists and researchers. One way to assure a strong start is to have an anchor in place that attracts other fledgling companies. GTCAllison, LLC could be that anchor. After receiving his Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology, Scott Callison returned home to Davie County to start GTCAllison, LLC, a life-sciences company located in Mocksville with a focus on animal diagnostics and molecular biology products.
His company is profitable, has an established base of intellectual property, and has working relationships with a wide range of clients and organizations from multinationals like Merial to university research labs like North Carolina State University and The University of Pennsylvania. A graduate of Davie County High School, Scott’s ties to the community are strong and he believes that this is the right time for biotech success in Davie County.
Want to Learn more? ~ If you have a fledgling company in the biotech, agri-tech, nanotech, or life sciences industry and you are interested in participating in or investing in a small business incubation model, contact Scott Callison, Manager of GTCAllison, LLC at 336-473-5525 or contact Terry Bralley, President of the Davie County Economic Development Commission at 336-751-2714.