An effort to create a regional biomanufacturing training and research hub in North Texas and Oklahoma is underway, headed up by the University of Texas at Arlington

UT-Arlington is the lead applicant in a consortium of entities — ranging from the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to the University of Oklahoma — requesting designation by the U.S. Economic Development Agency as a Central Biomanufacturing Innovation Hub. Each of the 20 designated tech hubs across the country will receive $15 million in federal funding to accelerate economic growth. 

“With UTA’s incredible talent in research and business development in the region, we are serving as the lead of this consortium, knowing it will help further leverage biomanufacturing innovation in a research triangle with Dallas to the east, Fort Worth to the west and Oklahoma City to the north,” said UT-Arlington President Jennifer Crowley said in a statement. 

Lyda Hill Philanthropies provided a grant that funded part of the initial market assessment for North Texas.

The Tech Hubs Program is an economic development initiative designed to increase regional technology by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize and deploy critical technologies. 

Biomanufacturing has been a key component of the Biden Administration’s effort to revive domestic manufacturing. Funding for the program was part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022

“Receiving this designation and strategy development grant will ultimately contribute to the translation of bioscience research into new businesses and commercial products, expanding low-cost domestic biomanufacturing capabilities and producing a robust talent pipeline needed to ensure America’s continued leadership in bio-innovation,” said Kate C. Miller, vice president of research and innovation for UT-ArlingtonUTA. 

According to Miller said, the consortium leverages shared regional expertise that addresses two “key technology focus areas” of the Tech Hubs:

  • Biotechnology, medical technology, and genomics;
  • Synthetic biology and robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area and Oklahoma City have demonstrated growth in the bioscience industry, Miller said. 

The life sciences labor market is growing for both regions, with a 10.3% job gain in Oklahoma City since 2015 compared to a 9.8% growth nationally and 17% in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 2019, outpacing the national average of 13.7%, according to UT-ArlingtonUTA. 

The CBIH consortium includes Arlington Economic Development Corporation, BioLabs, BioNTX, the city of Dallas, Dallas College, DFW Airport, Echo Investment Capital, Evolve Biologics, the Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce, Lyda Hill Philanthropies/LH Capital Inc., McKesson, the OKC Innovation District/BioTC Oklahoma, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, University of Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Stephenson Cancer Center, Texas A&M National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing, and Wheeler Bio. 

Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at 

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Robert Francis is a Fort Worth native and journalist who has extensive experience covering business and technology locally, nationally and internationally. He is also a former president of the local Society...