Acadiana Planning Commission Awarded $500,000 Grant to Support Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Cluster in Acadian Region

11 May 2022

Press Releases, Latest News, Bio-pharmaceutical

Acadiana Planning Commission (APC)
Angela Cring

Acadiana Planning Commission Awarded $500,000 Grant to Support Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Cluster in Acadian Region

Lafayette, Louisiana: Acadiana Planning Commission (APC) has been awarded a $500,000 grant to create a strategic plan to develop a biopharmaceutical manufacturing cluster by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and will be implemented in partnership with University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL).

“This award is a critical step to further diversify Acadiana’s regional economy. This investment plays to the region’s strengths and will help retain the region’s skilled workforce,” declared, APC’s CEO, Monique Boulet. Cluster-based economic development aims to capture the economic advantages that accrue for firms when they cluster together in place. This grant will create a strategic plan to leverage existing and planned facilities and resources to increase Bio-Pharmaceutical (bio-pharma) productivity in Acadiana by leveraging existing resources to develop a bio-pharma manufacturing cluster strategy that establishes Acadiana as a center for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical manufacturing inclusive of:

  • positioning existing abundant agricultural and petrochemical feedstocks to support manufacturing
  • utilizing unrivaled multi-modal transportation infrastructure to shrink supply chains
  • utilizing access to cheap power and plentiful water
  • retraining our petrochemical workforce to support the growth of this new cluster

COVID-19 provided a stark window into the vulnerabilities of the United States Pharmaceutical Supply Chain. Offshoring of American bio-pharma production creates a threat to national security by increasing the potential of supply chain disruptions for products. The strategic plan to be developed by this grant significantly assists in creating the framework to repatriate global pharmaceutical supply chains by improving the efficiency of the bio-pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing cycle to offset low-cost, low-regulatory advantages offered in China and India and advancing Acadiana as a global leader in this area.

Acadiana’s chemical manufacturing supply chain, expertise, and workforce can be repositioned to build an industry foundation with strong growth potential. Skilled workers from south Louisiana’s healthcare, oil and gas and chemical industries with translatable skills represents a major regional asset and strategic advantage. Additionally, petrochemicals manufactured in Louisiana along the South Louisiana Chemical Manufacturing Corridor form the basis for the supply chains of many bio-pharmaceutical products. Other Regional assets in Acadiana center around its institutions of higher education and centers for research.

“Our partnership with APC leverages existing UL assets such as the nation’s largest non-human primate research facility at the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) and the EDA-funded UL LEED Center. With this investment UL, a Carnegie R1 Research Institution, will continue to be a national leader in industry-sponsored research,” said, Ramesh Kolluru, UL Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development.

About APC: The APC serves the public sector with the planning and implementation of Community, Economic, and Transportation Development throughout the seven-parish Acadiana region.