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  • Writer's pictureLitzy Gonzalez

Meeting Minutes - 4/6/2023

Minutes from the general meeting held on April 6th 2023

DVTI Meeting

April 6, 2023

Present: Ryan Buckley, Don Burrus, George Carter, Ed Del Beccaro, Litzy Gonzalez, Alyson Greenlee, Jeanette Green, Alex

Greenwood, Joellen Heaney, Jags Krishnamurthy, Ricardo Noguera, Melissa Rea


  • Approval of Prior Minutes: Motion: Alex; 2 nd : Ed; Unanimous

  • Public comments: None

Presenter: Don Burrus, City of Vacaville

  • Background:

    • City Council authorized development of Biotechnology and Advanced Manufacturing Attraction initiative in 2019.

    • Engaged Matt Gardner, Principal of Innovation Counselors, LLC, to lead strategy development.

    • Focus groups

    • Three phase initiative was developed. Initiative kick-off October 2020:

- Phase 1: Plan Development – completed

- Phase 2: Foundations – completed

- Phase 3: Implementation – ongoing:

o Marketing and Attraction Efforts (telling Vacaville’s story in industry publications and media outlets; Lead Generation Services – CBC; Site tours of opportunity sites)

o Talent Pipeline – work with educational partners

o Created California Bio Manufacturing Center (CBC) as a non-profit organization to biotech leadership together on a regular basis and offer professional development services and lower level training.

Early Success:

  • Agenus Bio – acquired 120 acres

  • Polaris Pharmaceuticals – acquired 15 acres

  • Transwestern Ventures – acquired 22 acres

  • Biotechnology refers to discovery; biomanufacturing refers to pharma production. The better niche to focus on is biomanufacturing. There is a glut of office space in bay area that many are turning into lab space. Many companies are now virtual doing research over the world and using a Contract Manufacturer Organization (CMO) as pilot production facility. We hope to have a new CMO in our region soon and another biomanufacturer in a few months.

More to Come:

  • Facilitated the expansion and relocation of Mettler-Toledo Ranin, an instrumentation company

  • Due diligence with medical device company

  • Due diligence with two Ag Tech/Biotech companies

  • Due diligence with two incubation companies

  • Due diligence with Korean biotech company


  • Ed: What role did University of Davis have in attracting tenants? Don: We work with several education partners. Genentech helped design our labs, so once our students get jobs, everything they are exposed to is familiar as it is the same environment they studied in. Talent is very important to the industry, and our community colleges are producing the actual workers.

  • Ed: How was the timeframe of entitlements affected? Don: We streamlined the process and brought it to Vacaville as a fast track program. Anything biotech or advanced manufacturing-related gets through the entitlement process in less than 100 days.

  • Jags: Was your focus on advanced manufacturing in the biotech area due to Genentech? Don: It came down to what our assets in the community were. If we don’t have prebuilt production facilities, we can’t attract the industries.

  • Alyson: What is the importance of infrastructure investments? Don: There was already a backbone infrastructure in place, so we had an advantage. We invested to improve it (water, sewer, PG&E access, etc.).

  • Jags: Construction architects and builders say the most important requirement is powering biotech manufacturing facilities. How did you partner with organizations for electrical power, etc.? Don: We are currently in talks with PG&E. We have a PG&E substation in our city (Vaca-Dixon Substation) and one site dedicated to our employment land (we will update the circuit by 2025). We know that Genentech’s campus is 1M square feet with around one megawatt of power.

  • Collette: How many jobs will be generated? A: 3,000 construction jobs with four confirmed companies, 2,200 new jobs with a total economic impact of $2.5B.

o Conclusion: The first thing to do is determine your assets and what drives your economy. Reach out to

economists in the Tri-Valley area for assistance. Having community colleges as partners is key for success

since they are creating the workforce.

Upcoming Events - Please register and spread the word:

o Innovation Conference – April 29, 2023

o Contra Costa County & The Inflation Reduction Act – May 18, 2023

o DVTI Conference 2023:

o Spring Conference Support

  • Form a subcommittee to plan:

  • Date: September 19/21 or 26/28 (Weds or Thurs)

  • September 22 or 29 (Friday)

  • Venue: Diablo Room (Beth is checking on availability).

  • Agenda: Start at 9:30-10 / more breaks / 30-minute sessions

  • Speakers: Please reach out with ideas for speakers and areas to focus on.

  • Marketing: Our new marketing intern (Litzy) will help with marketing.

  • Major learning lessons from last time?

  • We don’t yet have the facilitator notes from the table discussions. Ryan wants to follow up so this content doesn’t disappear. We can do a better job of capturing takeaways and putting them on the website as a resource. We did post recordings of the speakers and panels.

DVTI Goals:

o Influence – Influence Skill development with DVC

o Align – Align stakeholders (businesses, workforce development, city and county officials)

o Inform – provide all information related to business to locate and thrive in this region

The Framework:

o Talent Pool – Education partners that help with building the right talent pool is a key asset to attracting the

right businesses.

o Location – Survey all location data to understand which location is best for certain businesses and align that

with the talent pool

o Eco System – Building an ecosystem of partnerships with supply chain, contract manufacturers, etc. to

facilitate set up of business

o Quality of Life – Location surveys invariably ask this question about schools, activities and other services in the


An Example (Valley Economic Alliance):

o Assisted 44,000 businesses

o Helped create and save 125K+ jobs

o Recruited, trained and placed 10K+ adults

If we are more data driven we can do similar things. Walnut Creek Chamber is advising us on ways to gather data.

Meet and Report on Progress: This can be done in partnership with other organizations in the area.

  • DVTI Goals for Future: Ed will connect DVTI with Lynn Wallace Naylor, CEO at Innovation TriValley.

Adjourned: 4:01 pm


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