COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va., U.S.A., (April 5,2021) — Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization (VGR) and EDai, a Richmond-based data and analytics startup, have partnered to forge ahead momentum of economic competitiveness through identifying strengths which promote the Gateway Region as the East Coast’s best-suited location for pharmaceutical manufacturing.
“We are thrilled that EDai is partnering with our team to provide objective data to help us best position the Gateway Region for the manufacturing of critical pharmaceutical ingredients for Americans and the world,” said Keith Boswell, President and CEO of VGR. “We look forward to partnering with EDai to support this growing cluster and bring jobs back to Virginia and the seven localities within VGR.”
From an economic development perspective, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is before the region to create a transformational advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing cluster, creating thousands of high-tech, high-wage jobs and expanding reliable access to affordable quality medicines. With this opportunity, VGR is now moving at twice the speed to ensure the momentum continues with its partners. The desire is to strategically position the region for this industry and find corporate partners that can join the cause — EDai will be the first of those corporate partners and comes with unmatched expertise to elevate this cluster.
EDai, a Minority Business Enterprise startup company based in the state capital, applies advanced analytics to the field of economic development to help companies and business location consultants make better and faster decisions about where to locate businesses.
“EDai is looking forward to working together with regional and local partners in the Gateway Region,” said Sean Brazier, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of EDai.
Boswell and Brazier are somewhat of a “Dream Team” when it comes to partnering on this work. With a diverse professional background including advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing and economic development prior to joining VGR in May 2018, Boswell invested 21 years working with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership where he facilitated 567 company location and expansion announcements that created 82,047 jobs and $7.97 billion in investment, many in the life sciences and biotech sector. Brazier leverages his analytical and strategic skills and experiences to help clients across sectors grow. After leading the development of the 900-page semi-finalist RFI response for Virginia winning Amazon’s HQ2 project in 2018, Sean was inspired to find a way for companies and communities of all sizes to have access to the same analytics and insights as Amazon, and more. EDai is the manifestation of this vision, integrating his experiences as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, lead strategist at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, economic development scholar and nonprofit leader who has helped scale two organizations focused on building strong, equitable talent pipelines in K12 and adult workforce development.
This partnership between VGR and EDai will reinforce the momentum of continuing to advance this pharmaceutical manufacturing cluster already forming in the City of Petersburg with recent announcements by Phlow, Civica Rx and AMPAC Fine Chemicals creating a total of 186 new jobs and $124.5 million in new capital investment.
About Virginia’s Gateway Region
Virginia’s Gateway Region is the regional economic development organization that markets the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, and the counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry and Sussex. VGR focuses its efforts on new and existing business investment and job creation.
EDai empowers business and community leaders to create prosperous economic opportunities for all. By leveraging the power of AI and technology, EDai removes the heavy data collection from location searches, giving all stakeholders more time to focus on what matters most: taking the first steps towards building long-lasting relationships that will foster mutual growth.