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New Member Spotlight: New Hampshire High Tech Council (NHHTC)

Matt Cookson, Executive Director of the New Hampshire High Tech Council (NHHTC)

Matt Cookson, Executive Director of the New Hampshire High Tech Council (NHHTC)

Matt Cookson, Executive Director of the New Hampshire High Tech Council (NHHTC), found out about ARMI | BioFabUSA from the Dean of the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, Mike Decelle. He explained that ARMI | BioFabUSA, then in its infancy and prepping for a proposal submission to the Department of Defense (DoD), may make possible the foundation of a new industry based in Manchester. Fast forward to June of 2018, and ARMI | BioFabUSA has had its doors open for almost a year with Mike Decelle not only serving as the Dean of UNH at Manchester, but also as the Chief Workforce Officer at ARMI.

“As executive director of the NH Tech Council, I spend a lot of time thinking about the council’s ever-evolving role in serving members as we look to address the number one issue – how we develop, attract and retain a workforce that can fuel the growth of the technology sector. I watch ARMI | BioFabUSA closely and see huge potential.”

The NH High Tech Council is a member-driven organization with a focus on advancing innovation throughout the State of New Hampshire and is committed to expanding New Hampshire’s strong and cohesive technology sector.

Cookson views the vision of ARMI as a vibrant, statewide opportunity, providing many careers for the talent pipeline already in the state as well as a bright future for those coming to the state. A state that he strongly believes already has a great culture and many desirable attractions that include mountains, lakes, vibrant cities and the seacoast area.

“The NHHTC formed a Biotech Commission in 2016 and the members of that commission are very happy about the addition of ARMI and its member organizations which are working in the area of biofabrication.” Cookson continued by saying, “Our mission is to further strengthen New Hampshire’s technology sector and advance NH’s biotech and medtech leadership position – focused specifically in the biofabrication, biotechnology, pharma, medical devices and general health technology arena – by providing industry relevant services, programs and support to NH’s ever-growing ecosystem of patient health-centric companies.”

NH is part of an extraordinary, world leading life sciences ecosystem, not just as a border state to Massachusetts (the nucleus of the New England regional ecosystem); but also as a significant contributor with several companies and institutions providing life-changing and life-saving services, treatments, drugs, medical devices, research, innovation, and advanced health technologies.

An April 2018 event sponsored by NHHTC and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, held at ARMI headquarters with Governor Chris Sununu (R) as ‘MC’, hosted nearly 300 individuals from the two states. At the event, attendees interacted and learned more about the new biofabrication industry and what it will mean to the local economy, including what is quickly becoming known as the ‘Biofab Corridor,’ which extends from Massachusetts to New Hampshire.

All industries seem to be facing workforce shortages, and the broader life sciences arena is no different. NHHTC began addressing this issue through a series of events to tackle the challenge by bringing industry professionals together from across the state to discuss opportunities to work on building tomorrow’s biotech and medtech workforce.

“Here at NHHTC, we see ourselves as a ‘one-stop shop’ for companies looking to move to NH. We can guide them through everything from site location to understanding the local culture and the benefits to employees moving to our state. We already have 250 member companies that are ready to roll out the red carpet for new firms.”

“I had the fortune to be part of the group that provided input on the Amazon proposal,” Cookson said. He added, “While New Hampshire did not make the final round, we did wind up with an outstanding proposal that captured the socio-economic value proposition that New Hampshire can offer to businesses, and especially to their employees, and why this is a great place to work and live.”

Cookson highlighted two local efforts – the Sector Partnerships Initiative and ApprenticeshipNH – and the fact that they both target the tech sector in efforts to enhance skill levels through retraining and support. The council is also engaged in a program called CS4NH, which works to bring increase exposure of computer science for kids in K-12 in effort to enhance skills while potentially earning credit towards graduation.

“ARMI is going to help put NH on the map with another ‘first in the nation’,” he concluded.

For more information please visit NHHTC’s website at: https://nhhtc.org/