With the goal of showcasing Kentucky's growing biotechnology industry on a global stage, Governor Steve Beshear will depart tomorrow for a two-day economic development trip to the 20th annual BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) International Convention in Boston.
As the largest global event for the biotechnology industry, the annual convention attracts the biggest names in biotech, offers networking and business opportunities for Kentucky companies and research institutions, and provides insights on the trends impacting the industry.
"The Commonwealth is known worldwide for our robust bourbon industry, famous horse farms and championship basketball teams, but we're also making great strides in emerging innovative and high-tech fields," Gov. Beshear said. "Kentucky is home to some of the world's foremost scientists and researchers, and the annual BIO convention allows us the opportunity to showcase our technologies and the advantages Kentucky offers to the industry."
As a result of Kentucky's efforts to attract and cultivate homegrown innovative and high-tech companies, the Commonwealth now boasts more than 1,800 bioscience and life science companies with more than 100,000 people working in advanced research and development fields such as nutrigenomics and therapeutics to treat cancer.
To help spread the word about Kentucky's exciting developments in the industry, Kentucky economic development organizations and biotech companies from across the Commonwealth will promote their technologies and Kentucky's many business advantages in the Kentucky Pavilion at the conference.
"Kentucky is quickly gaining global attention for successes in research and innovation," said Gene Fuqua, executive director of the Office of Commercialization and Innovation within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. "Not only is our SBIR-STTR Matching Funds program for our high-tech small businesses attracting attention nationwide, our reputation in the health sciences led to Kentucky hosting this year's annual conference for the National Institutes of Health last month in Louisville."
Kentucky supports innovators and high-tech entrepreneurs with the nation's only comprehensive matching funds program for federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.
Since Gov. Beshear took office in 2007, Kentucky has made 108 matching awards totalling more than $30 million to 56 high-tech companies. The awards have helped leverage nearly $55 million in federal SBIR and STTR grants. Also, more than a dozen high-tech companies from across the nation have moved to Kentucky as a result of the matching program.
"Kentucky is advancing every year in the areas of innovation and biotechnology," said Gov. Beshear. "At BIO, we'll send a strong message to the world that Kentucky is helping innovative companies move forward, making our world better for all of us with improved healthcare, more productive agriculture and a safer, cleaner environment."
The convention attracts nearly 2,000 exhibitors and up to 20,000 attendees representing 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations from the United States and more than 60 other countries. Members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.
For more information on the Bio International Convention, visit www.convention.bio.org.
Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky.