Industry Leaders Launch Keystone LifeSci Collaborative, a New Partnership to Support Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Life Science Sector

Industry leaders gathered at tables in a hotel conference room listening to a facilitator stand in front of a board.

First sector partnership of its kind convenes life sciences companies from across six counties at inaugural event.



PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 6, 2024 Life science leaders and community partners across Southeastern Pennsylvania launched a business-centered collaborative forum today called the Keystone LifeSci Collaborative. This partnership will serve as a forum for life sciences industry leaders from across the region to collaborate in growing the industry and strengthening the talent pipeline into life sciences careers.


The Keystone Life Sci Collaborative is supported by new funding from the American Rescue Plan’s Good Jobs Challenge (GJC) and aims to address ongoing shared business priorities and enhance regional competitiveness in the life sciences industry. 


The Keystone LifeSci Collaborative brings together key regional stakeholders, including industry leaders, research institutions, and community organizations to foster collaboration, innovation, and growth in the life science sector across six Southeastern Pennsylvania counties: Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, Chester, and Berks.  


The Collaborative is based on the nationally recognized “Next Gen Sector Partnership” model, active in over 100 regions and more than 20 states. It is the first of its kind in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region. The Next Gen model departs from the traditional government-driven approach to workforce development where the public sector takes the lead and industry plays a reactive role. In the Next Gen approach, business leaders are proactive, stepping up to champion shared solutions together. Industry leaders draw on expertise and support from government and nonprofit partners to design solutions that strengthen the industry, grow good jobs, and expand equitable access to those good jobs 


“Through the launch of the Keystone LifeSci Collaborative, we are not merely initiating another program; we are actively transforming the life sciences sector landscape in Southeastern Pennsylvania,” said H. Patrick Clancy, president and CEO of Philadelphia Works, Philadelphia’s Workforce Investment Board. “This industry-led collaboration will harness the full potential of workforce development resources to cultivate a talent pipeline prepared to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future. Our efforts will unlock regional opportunities, elevating our life sciences sector to national prominence, securing a bright future for our workforce, and affirming our city’s status as a center of innovation and excellence.” 


Keystone LifeSci Collaborative’s inaugural meeting served as a platform for stakeholders to convene, network, and discuss the collaborative’s strategic priorities. Over 30 leaders from the region’s life sciences companies and institutions, including Adaptimmune, Century Therapeutics, Integral Molecular, Iovance Biotherapeutics, Lampire Biological Laboratories, and VintaBio, participated in a facilitated discussion about opportunities for industry growth, stability, and vitality in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The group focused on the region’s unique advantages and identified five priorities for action to coalesce around, including strengthening business to business connectivity, developing a coordinated strategy for building a talent pipeline, influencing policy, raising awareness of life sciences careers, and marketing the region as a life sciences hub. More than 50 public and community partners, including the University City Science Center, Drexel University, CIC Philadelphia, Bucks County Community College, the Philadelphia Education Fund, and the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, convened after the launch for a strategic discussion to better understand how to assist and execute on these defined priorities.  


“One of the top challenges in bringing life-saving and life-changing cell and gene therapies to patients is the availability of a skilled workforce to research, develop, manufacture, and deploy these therapies,” said David Radspinner, CEO of VintaBio. “I am excited that VintaBio can collaborate with other top industry leaders through the Keystone LifeSci Collaborative. We will work together to address this workforce challenge and other shared business priorities, which in turn will help us achieve our company’s mission to accelerate our therapies through the clinic to patients, and to improve patient access through simplified and cost-effective manufacturing.” 


Sharon Willis, Co-Founder and VP Sales and Customer Relations at Integral Molecular shares her excitement in being an early champion for the partnership. “We are thrilled to have Integral Molecular play a pivotal role in the Keystone LifeSci Collaborative. By cultivating a robust talent pipeline, supporting employee needs, bridging capital access gaps, and fostering stronger connections among companies and universities, we look forward to strengthening our thriving biotech ecosystem in Philadelphia.” 


The Keystone LifeSci Collaborative is guided by a steering committee with members in life sciences, workforce development, education, and economic development including the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, The Wistar Institute, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and Select Greater Philadelphia Council, Montgomery Community College, Life Sciences PA, and SMART Bio Works.  


“With the support from the US Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge, we are excited to focus on this prime opportunity to create sustainable talent pipelines and solve industry challenges across the region with our partners,” said Cait Garozzo, Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, a workforce development organization and the backbone organization behind the Keystone LifeSci Collaborative. “We thank our public sector and community partners, life sciences business leadership, and members of the steering committee for their commitment to the Keystone LifeSci Collaborative and we can’t wait to get started on the work.” 


The funding from the American Rescue Plan’s Good Jobs Challenge will enable the collaborative to implement strategic initiatives, including workforce development, infrastructure enhancement, and targeted support for emerging life science businesses, contributing to the overall economic development of the region. The funding allocated to this collaborative is part of a larger $22.8 million GJC to the region to spur job growth in other sectors, including energy, building trades, and construction, with an ultimate goal of creating 3,000 new quality, family-sustaining jobs in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  


To learn more about the Keystone LifeSci Collaborative, visit, or send an email to 





About Keystone LifeSci Collaborative 

Keystone LifeSci Collaborative is a regional, Next Gen partnership of Southeastern Pennsylvania life science leaders and community partners. Dedicated to addressing shared business priorities and advancing regional competitiveness, the collaborative aims to propel the life sciences sector into the future. With support from the American Rescue Plan’s Good Jobs Challenge, Keystone LifeSci Collaborative is poised to drive innovation, collaboration, and economic growth in the region’s life science ecosystem. For more information, visit   


About the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative 

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) is one of the nation’s most successful workforce development organizations. For over 10 years, WPSI has solidified its role as one of the highest performing workforce intermediaries in the country by building customized talent solutions that bridge the divide between unemployed Philadelphians seeking opportunity and employers seeking talent. WPSI focuses on professional development and career coaching for adults. For more information, visit 


About Life Sciences Pennsylvania 

Life Sciences Pennsylvania (LSPA) is the statewide trade association for the commonwealth’s life sciences industry.  Since its founding in 1989, the mission of LSPA has been to ensure Pennsylvania is a life sciences leader by facilitating the formation, growth, and success of the life sciences ecosystem through public policy advocacy and connecting people and resources. For more information, visit 


About The Wistar Institute 

The Wistar Institute, the first independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, marshals the talents of an international team of outstanding scientists through a culture of biomedical collaboration and innovation. Wistar scientists are focused on solving some of the world’s most challenging and important problems in the fields of cancer, infectious disease, and immunology. Wistar has been producing groundbreaking advances in world health for more than a century, consistent with its legacy of leadership in biomedical research and a track record of life-saving contributions in immunology and cell biology. For more information, visit 


About The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and Select Greater Philadelphia 

The Chamber’s Select Greater Philadelphia Council is strengthening the region’s innovation economy by promoting Greater Philadelphia’s assets and strengths in the life sciences sectors. By sharing the narrative of the region as a globally connected and collaborative place to do business, welcoming and supporting prospective businesses, and assessing and solving the talent needs of the sector, the Chamber is ensuring that the Greater Philadelphia region is recognized as a worldwide leader in life sciences. For more information, visit 


About Montgomery County Community College 

For 60 years, Montgomery County Community College has been transforming lives and communities to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown and online.   


As an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to remove barriers to access, improve learning outcomes, and increase completion for all students. The College also is recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service-learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For seven years, MCCC has been named one of the Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges in the nation by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development for its commitment to diversity through inclusive learning and work environments, student and staff recruitment and retention practices, and meaningful community service and engagement opportunities. For more information, visit 


About SMART Bio Works 

SMART Bio Works provides tailored consulting and fractional support to its clients in biopharmaceutical operations and in workforce development. Its mission is bold and targeted: to create an exceptional biotech ecosystem. 


SMART Bio Works is committed to empowering marginalized populations by generating high-paying, family-sustaining jobs in the thriving biotech sector. Through its groundbreaking collaboration with esteemed local non-profits, the company is forging a path to success with its cutting-edge Supply-chain, Manufacturing, Analytical, Regulatory Training (SMART) programs. These programs provide comprehensive training and result in prestigious certificates, opening doors to lucrative apprenticeships and full-time positions in the exciting field of biotech. 


The company is also dedicated to propelling local start-ups towards becoming thriving mid-sized companies. By facilitating their growth and expansion, SMART Bio Works is ensuring a steady stream of opportunities for its highly skilled trainees. SMART Bio Works partners with companies worldwide, enabling it to showcase the unparalleled advantages that make the Philadelphia region a true powerhouse in the life sciences industry. For more information, visit