On July 7, Biocom announced that it has appointed Miguel Motta to serve as vice president of strategic operations and as the first head of the organization’s San Diego regional office.
Motta has more than 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry, serving in executive positions at companies like Bayer Crop Sciences, and has been chairman, president, chief executive officer, chief financial officer or chief operating officer of growth-stage, venture capital-backed companies. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of IRP Health.
Motta has extensive experience in launching novel products in developed and emerging markets, mergers and acquisitions and capital formation and brings a global perspective having led global organizations in Switzerland, Spain, The Netherlands, France, Japan, Mexico and the U.S.
“Miguel’s strong history of leadership in life science companies will be important as we develop and execute on the strategic growth of Biocom California, both statewide and in San Diego,” said Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom California.
“Miguel will be responsible for customizing our member benefits to our San Diego members and helping us engage even more closely on San Diego policy issues,” Panetta added. “Statewide, he will support the operational requirements and sophisticated implementation of our strategic plans in the short- and long-term. We are delighted to welcome him to the team.”
Prior to Motta’s appointment, the San Diego office, headquarters for the statewide organization, operated without a permanent regional head and those duties fell on interim directors or were handled by Panetta who lives in San Diego
“Biocom California has been a mainstay of the San Diego life science ecosystem for nearly 30 years, and I’m excited to leverage my experience and contribute to an organization that will continue to support the industry for years to come,” Motta said. “I also appreciate the opportunity to participate in building statewide initiatives that will keep our industry strong.”
‘Customizing’ for San Diego
Motta said his focus as head of the San Diego office will be to assess the needs of the region’s life science industry and see where Biocom can add value.
“For example, many of our local companies could benefit from increased access to capital. San Diego is home to some of the most innovative companies in our industry, but the presence of venture capital is not as robust as in the Bay Area,” he said. “By understanding the needs of our members, we believe we can create a San Diego customized offering to prepare members to successfully raise capital, then connect them with potential investors and partners and facilitate fund raising initiatives.”
Motta added that he will also focus on policy issues in San Diego in key areas such as access to utilities, workforce housing, land use and zoning, transit/transportation and the region’s “complex permitting process.”
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen an increased area of need for our members surrounding assistance with building permits, and we’ll continue to boost engagement in this area,” he said. “The life science industry in San Diego continues to experience rapid growth, and we want to make sure our members and local government have the resources to accommodate the building and expansion of facilities.”
Beyond advocating for San Diego, Motta said also intends to focus on statewide initiatives that align with the needs of Biocom members.
“Our industry is, for the right reasons, highly regulated thereby making public policy extremely important. Without freedom to operate and the right policies, the industry cannot flourish,” he said, adding that the challenge will be to match the changing priorities of Biocom members with state’s changing economic environment and policy cycles.
“Considering current market conditions, there’s likely to be an increased focus on strategic partnerships, access to capital, and reducing burn rate,” he said.
Motta said he is also committed to Biocom California’s DEI initiative and to deepening its efforts in San Diego to attract and retain diverse talent, which he described as “a critical challenge.”
“We must attract more talent to our industry – more researchers, business professionals, entrepreneurs, and future executives,” he added.
Motta said his overall goal for his new position is to accelerate our Biocom members’ success by removing barriers to doing business in the life sciences industry.
“My plan is to create a world-class range of services to support our members through advocacy, access to capital, workforce development, access to savings, and professional high-value networking opportunities,” he said.
He also said he wants to highlight San Diego as an attractive city to foreign business.
“I hope to bring my international experience to bear, developing even more global awareness to San Diego’s dominance in life sciences,” he said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to support thousands of life science companies to do what they do best, improve human health around the world.”
CEO: Joe Panetta
Headquarters: San Diego
Business: Member organization advocating for the life science industry
Revenue: $9,400,000 (2020)
Members: Over 1,600
Notable: In addition to in-state offices in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, Biocom California has satellite offices in Washington D.C. and Tokyo.