The 2010 BIO International Convention drew biotech industry leaders from around the world to Chicago, Illinois for networking, dealmaking and partnering discussions. More than 15,000 industry leaders from 49 states and 65 countries attended the event. The Convention brought more than $25 million to the local economy and the sector as a whole is continuing to generate high wage jobs for the 21st century economy. Mayor Daley recognized the value of biotech for his city, “We need biotechnology business in Chicago to expand because it provides opportunities for our citizens. BIO – Welcome to our city.”
Indeed, biotechnology has been an engine for growth for the country as a whole. Al Gore emphasized the economic impact biotechnology has had during his keynote address to Convention attendees. Governor Granholm of Michigan echoed Vice President Gore’s comments and noted the impact for her state, “we have been working to grow Michigan’s life sciences sector as part of our strategy to diversify the state’s economy and create jobs.” Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the 42nd and 43rd Presidents of the United States, shared the stage to discuss global issues and biotechnology applications.
In addition to the economic value of biotechnology, the industry is providing health and medical, industrial and environmental, and agricultural improvements to communities all over the world on a daily basis. A new report released at Convention, “Healing, Fueling, Feeding: How Biotechnology is Enriching Your Life,” illustrated some of the positive ways biotechnology is making a difference around the world. For example, biotechnology is responsible for:
- More than 250 biotechnology healthcare products and vaccines available to patients;
- More than 50 biorefineries being built across North America to produce biofuels and chemicals from renewable biomass;
- More than 13.3 million farmers around the world use agricultural biotechnology to increase yields, prevent pest damage and reduce farming’s environmental impact.
Several other notable experts and leaders discussed the promise and potential of biotech throughout the four-day event. U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, provided a keynote at the Diversity in Biotechnology Summit which highlighted the “growing racial disconnect between those who seek care and those who provide it,” adding that the imbalance is best offset through improved science education at an early age. CNN Moderator Fareed Zakaria shared his thoughts on the “vast numbers of people and countries [who] can actively participate in the world economy and the growth of the knowledge economy,” at a session highlighting the latest Worldview report.
Biotechnology has a tangible humanitarian impact on millions of people every day. This year we awarded our second annual Biotech Humanitarian Award to Bob Klein, a stem cell advocate who has stewarded a new era of stem cell research and discovery in California. Bob Klein’s vision and determination to create alternatives to federal funding for stem cell research helped make the state of California a global leader in disease research.
In short, the global event for biotechnology was a huge success. There is more work to be done, more problems to address through biotechnology, and of course – preparing for the 2011 BIO International Convention in Washington, DC. For more information on the 2010 BIO International Convention, please visit http://convention.bio.org/
Other highlights include:
- IP Watchdog’s Exclusive Interview with Jim Greenwood
- Biotech Nation’s Moira Gunn Speaks with Bob Klein, the Biotech Humanitarian of the Year, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, BIO Governor of the Year, Wisconsin Governor Jim Boyle, and BIO’s president, Jim Greenwood.
- Algae Oil at Convention Offers Promise as a Renewable Energy Fuel
- Heads of Chinese Biotech Industry at Convention