Life Sciences Strategy Being Developed for Barbados

Export Barbados (BIDC) should soon have a robust strategy in place to help build the local life sciences industry as it pursues its goal of making Barbados a life sciences hub in the Caribbean.

The Corporation has contracted Deloitte to provide a 16-week consultation on strategy development. This initiative will help the life sciences become a viable economic sector in Barbados. The six-member cross-border collaboration between Deloitte Barbados and Deloitte United States began the project on July 17, 2022. The team’s task is to assess Barbados’ life sciences landscape, identify opportunities and develop a model and plan to guide the industry’s scaling.

The team has divided the project into three phases: (1) an assessment of Barbados’ current life sciences landscape relative to regional and global industry trends and peer communities, (2) identification of existing capabilities and value chain(s) and opportunities to develop Barbados’ life sciences ecosystem, and [3] the development of practical approaches to leverage identified assets and competitive strengths and mitigate actual or perceived shortcomings. On Wednesday, September 14 the team hosted a workshop at Bagnall’s Point Gallery in Pelican Village, to garner feedback on the project’s first stage and input on the next, from the Corporation and key stakeholders in the public and private sectors.

After the workshop, Matt Szuhaj, Global Location Subject Matter Expert who has 30 years of experience providing advice on life science investments, indicated that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Therefore, the team will formulate a strategy to allow the country to maximize the value of its life sciences industry and attract valuable investments.

Attendees at the recent workshop held to discuss building out the life sciences industry in Barbados.

‘You can’t be all things to all people. So the exercise this group started with is what you look like from the outside, and this is how an investor, whether they use a consultant or not, will see you. You’ve got to differentiate yourself, look at who you compete with and know what differentiates you from them and also what they do that you maybe won’t. So everything flows from that in terms of strategy – what you can have capabilities in now, where those can be leveraged in other sectors and where you need to grow capabilities’.

Szuhaj also said, ‘Moving forward we’ll evaluate each of these areas, prioritize them and then all of the enabling capacity building can occur. Then, we will look at what incentives you need, what policy changes you need, how to brand it, how to market it – all this becomes part of the strategy’.

Chief Executive Officer of Export Barbados (BIDC), Mark Hill, thanked the workshop attendees for their engagement and viewpoints. He said that Export Barbados is looking forward to the next stage of the project rollout and being one step closer to the strategy becoming a reality.

‘We will also be meeting with the medical fraternity and various other stakeholders until we get over the line. We are pushing hard to see the strategy completed and to start the journey of Barbados becoming a leader in life sciences. We are therefore encouraging anyone who has ideas on how to develop the life sciences sector to share them with the team to ensure that we can achieve our goals’, CEO Hill said.

Export Barbados believes the country is poised to advance its life sciences industry and become a vital player in the global industry.