By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia and the hospitality industry will be rolling out the red carpet in mid June for the BIO International Convention, bringing in people from 60 countries and 47 states. It’s been ten years since they gathered in this biosience hub.
The 15,000 attendees will help the city realize a more than $43 million economic impact during their stay. So, what is the essence of biotechnology?
“It’s about our understanding of how life works, in humans, animals and in plants,” says BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood.
The former Congressman from Bucks County says they focus on the cellular, genetic and molecular level to find cures for diseases, to make farmers more productive to feed the planet, and make cleaner and more sustainable fuels.
“We like to say that we heal, feed and fuel the world,” he says.
Chris Molineaux leads Pennsylvania BIO, the trade association representing life science companies in the Commonwealth. “You hear a lot about large pharma companies contracting and letting employees go, but what is often underreported is the fact that many of those people go out to form their own new companies,” he says.
He says in the last four years in Pennsylvania, more than 700 Research and Development based companies have formed.
Both note this area boasts big pharma, like GlaxoSmithkline, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Merck, start-up biotech companies, medical device, diagnostics companies, along with leading edge academic research institutions.
The sessions will include biotech bootcamps, business development courses, and career fairs. One of the keynotes will be Tom Brokaw, the author and former NBC anchor.
Evening events include networking opportunities, a Reading Terminal Market party, and a kickoff concert featuring The Roots, Boys ll Men, and Kool and the Gang.
The BIO International Convention runs from June 15th to June 18th.