April Newsletter

Pictured: WTC Utah and GOED with Qatari inbound delegation on March 22, 2019. Click here to read more. 

If you have been following us through this newsletter, or are involved with the World Trade Center Utah board, you are likely familiar with the team effort to develop and launch a WTC Utah strategy that clearly defines WTC Utah’s programs, activities and metrics that tell us the extent to which we are accomplishing our objectives. I am grateful for the strong support and critical input we’ve received from our board of directors and many of you, and I am excited to share with you the latest draft of this strategy. You can read the draft WTC Utah strategy here.

As we finalize this strategy, I would welcome any additional feedback you may have. We recognize that we’ll have to refine and improve as we go. However, it is important to me to get this framework right by having the input and broad-based support of WTC Utah stakeholders and the community as we take a Team Utah approach to make our state a global hub of business and investment.  Please send any thoughts directly to me or to our general mailbox at: info@wtcutah.com.

Through the strategy, we have set forth our mission and objectives as an organization and our programming, including purpose, goals, activities and metrics.  Our strategy defines six programs:

  1. Statewide and International Outreach Program
  2. Export Training Program
  3. Foreign Investment Program
  4. Grant Administration Program
  5. Outbound Trade Missions and Trade Shows Program
  6. Rural Utah International Trade and Investment Program

Each program area has a defined purpose. For example, the purpose of our Rural Utah International Trade and Investment Program is to support rural Utah’s economic development by delivering World Trade Center Utah programs to each rural region and facilitate rural Utah’s international engagement.

Meanwhile, the purpose of our Outbound Trade Missions and Trade Shows Program is to build, prepare and lead Team Utah on international trade missions and industry-specific trade shows to pursue export, investment, partnership and diplomatic opportunities.

As I mentioned above, developing the new strategy is a collaborative effort involving our World Trade Center Utah team and our many partners. We deeply appreciate everyone who provided and is still providing input and perspective. We also deeply appreciate our executive committee for providing direction and serving as the final review of this strategy document.

Having a defined strategic plan is essential for us to properly coordinate with our trade and investment promotion partners and helps us ensure that all Utah businesses – rural and urban – have access to the services they need to realize the growth and resiliency that comes with international success.  This is truly a Team Utah approach that began with the conceptualization of the strategy and spreads to each of its moving parts.

The strategy serves as our roadmap as we help take Utah companies to the world and bring the world back to Utah. As all types of foreign investment flow into the state, products and services flow out, completing the cycle of trade and investment that characterizes the global economy today. The strategy also establishes accountability and transparency – so we can continually assess, refine, and improve to ensure that we are maximizing the value your support for WTC Utah creates.

Global Appeal: PolarityTE

Imagine a Utah-based, biotech company developing a line of products that use a patient’s own tissue to regenerate skin, bone, cartilage, vascular systems and other tissue. Introducing PolarityTE, Inc., which develops regenerative tissue products and biomaterials for the fields of medicine, biomedical engineering and material sciences.

As a translational regenerative medicine company, PolarityTE develops functionally polarized human tissues from a dime-sized biopsy of a patient’s own tissue. SkinTE™, its first commercial product that company founders say may one day replace skin grafts, is a first-of-its-kind autologous (from the patient, for the patient) and homologous (skin for skin) product designed to regrow full-thickness, functional skin for patients with damaged or missing skin. The product has been used on burn patients and on patients suffering from traumatic and chronic wounds.

The company’s founders hail from the San Francisco-Bay Area and Boston, but headquartered PolarityTE in Utah because of its business-friendly environment, access to a strong talent pool and the lower cost of doing business. Founded in 2015, PolarityTE started off in a small facility in the University of Utah Research Park. Today, the company has over 400,000 square feet of space covering two facilities near Salt Lake International Airport. In that time, PolarityTE has grown its workforce from 12 doctors and scientists to a staff of almost 200 employees, commercialized SkinTE and registered its second product, OsteoTE™, which regenerates missing or damaged bone, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“This is an exciting time for PolarityTE as we continue to advance operations,” said Denver M. Lough, MD, PhD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, at the time of the company’s expansion. “Expanding to new corporate headquarters marks a milestone for the company, our employees, and the healthcare providers and patients we work to serve, all who will benefit from the opportunities this expansion presents. We are thrilled to further entrench our presence in Salt Lake City, which has proven itself the best place for us to develop the company. The talent in the city, its proximity to an international airport and the supportive startup biotech community have all contributed to our success, and we look forward to continued growth within the community.”

PolarityTE’s phenomenal growth has positioned the company to deploy its products across the United States, where it has partnered with national healthcare providers. The company is also enjoying success internationally. Company leaders joined WTC Utah and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) for a highly successful trade mission to South Korea and Taiwan, which has since led to PolarityTE becoming a booth sponsor for the upcoming Bio Korea Trade Show – Asia’s largest biotechnology convention – which takes place April 17-19 in Seoul.

PolarityTE also joined WTC Utah in January for a trade mission to the Gulf Region, where company leaders explored and developed business relationships and growth opportunities with organizations in the Gulf States. Because of the success of the January trade mission, leaders from PolarityTE returned to the region in March for follow-on meetings and business opportunities.

To learn more about PolarityTE, visit polarityte.com or call (800) 560-3983.

Market Highlight: France

In June, World Trade Center Utah and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) will lead a delegation of Utah organizations on a trade mission to Europe with a stop in France. The visit to France will focus specifically on the life sciences, biotech and energy sectors there.

According to Capita, France is the world’s fifth largest economy, and the second largest in Europe, following Germany. There are more than 20,000 foreign businesses already established in France. Some of the most popular industries importing into France include clothing, automotive, plastics and electronic equipment.

Approximately five percent of France’s 64.3 million population works in the healthcare industry. Lyon, the capital city in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, claims to be the birthplace of France’s life sciences industry, with one of the most advanced pharmaceutical industries in the world. Its pharma/biotech landscape includes Lyonbiopôle, a world center of excellence in biotechnologies such as infectious diseases and immunology, vaccines, diagnostics, oncology and neurology. What’s more, one of the top neurological hospitals in Europe is located in Lyon.

In medical technologies, Lyon is host to approximately 300 firms in the specializations of medical devices, implants and prostheses, medical textiles, electro-medical and dialysis devices and medical imaging and software.

Another hotspot for biotech and life sciences is the renowned France-German-Swiss BioValley Alsace, which is the heart of a tri-national network of excellence dedicated to pharma-biotech innovation. The website Invest in Alsace says Alsace is one of the leading and most dynamic regions in France in the biotech/life sciences sectors. The area features a highly skilled workforce and “expertise throughout the drug development value chain, providing the best environment to bring therapeutic innovations to the market as quickly as possible.”

Alsace is home some major players in the biotech/life sciences sectors, including the large pharmaceutical companies Lilly, Novartis, Sanofi Aventis and Daiichi Sankyo. Its biotech companies include Transgene and a wealth of clinical research organizations and contract manufacturing organizations, such as Quintiles, Catalent, PolyPeptide Group and Recipharm.

The unique environment also plays host to many start-up companies in the health sector that have decided to anchor their activity in Alsace. Furthermore, more than 40 percent of the world leaders in the pharma industry are located in this unique tri-national area. “Foreign life sciences companies have picked Alsace for different activities ranging from manufacturing, headquarters, clinical trials, R&D or business development,” according to Invest in Alsace.

Here’s a website that maintains a list of France’s biotech, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies.

In the energy sector, the website Enerdata notes that France has depleted its natural gas and oil reserves. Meanwhile, its coal reserves are low and have high extraction costs, and hydroelectric sources are already heavily exploited. However, France’s subsoil is estimated to be rich in shale gas, with resources believed to represent half of the total European shale gas resources.

The website says France’s electricity price is 10% below the EU average for industry and 15% for households. Furthermore, prices for industry and households are 25% and 45% lower, respectively, than in Germany. This is the result of the importance of nuclear and hydro in France’s power mix.

With regard to energy consumption, France’s consumption per capita stood at 3.7 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) in 2017 and is 16% above the EU average. Electricity consumption per capita is 19% higher than the EU average due to the high penetration of electric heating in the country. Total energy consumption has been decreasing by an average of 0.9% per year since its peak levels in 2005.

France’s total energy consumption of fossil fuels is planned to decrease by 33% between 2017 and 2028, with consumption reductions of 80% for coal (compared to 2012), 35% for oil and 19% for gas. Final energy consumption is planned to shrink by 14%, of which 80% will come from buildings (-12%) and transport (-16%), says the Enerdata website.

Upcoming Events

April 17-19 Bio Korea 2019
May 17 Utah Economic Summit
June 10-14 WUSATA Canada
Inbound Trade Mission to Utah & Alaska
June 12-22 Europe Trade Mission +
Paris Air Show

News Headlines

Miles Hansen: Immigration reform would boost Utah’s already-booming economy

Watch Out, Silicon Valley: Why Tech Companies Are Going To Salt Lake City, Boston

Guest opinion: New Zealand shooting reminds us to see the common humanity we all share

A. Scott Anderson: Innovation can lift nations out of poverty

Silicon Slopes, Utah Technology Council combine for new tech-centric chamber