Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI COO named chairman of BioMed SA

For immediate release

San Antonio — Jan. 17, 2017 — Walter D. Downing, executive vice president and chief operations officer of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), has been elected chairman of BioMed SA, a nonprofit organization that promotes local biomedical industries.

“San Antonio’s healthcare and bioscience sector has doubled in each of the last two decades, and the possibilities for continued growth are very exciting,” said Downing, citing reports published by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with other local organizations through BioMed SA to support San Antonio’s economic development efforts, serving as catalysts to accelerate the growth.”

A member of the BioMed SA board since 2012, Downing chaired the bylaws review committee in 2015 and served as vice chairman in 2016.

“We are honored to have Walt Downing chair BioMed SA,” said Ann Stevens, president of the organization. “Walt is highly regarded and very supportive of our mission to grow and promote San Antonio’s biomedical sector.”

An active member of the local community, Downing also serves on industry advisory boards for the College of Engineering and the College of Business at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s University, board member of the Free Trade Alliance San Antonio, and he serves on San Antonio’s Global Business Competitiveness Council. In the national arena, he serves as a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE®) and as an evaluator for ABET, which accredits college science, computing, and engineering degree programs.

At SwRI, San Antonio’s eighth-largest employer, Downing manages technical operations for its 2,700 staff members. With research and development spanning deep sea to deep space, SwRI conducts a diverse portfolio of research projects using advanced science and applied technology to solve complex technical challenges.

Founded in 2005, BioMed SA's mission is to accelerate growth of San Antonio’s healthcare and bioscience sector, create regional economic benefit, and contribute to the health of San Antonio and beyond by establishing San Antonio as a leader in healthcare and bioscience.

Visit to learn about Southwest Research Institute or to learn about BioMed SA.

For more information, contact Deb Schmid, (210) 522-2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.