WBBA 2012 Governor's Life Science Summit and Annual Meeting
Thong Le, Chair of the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association Board of Directors, commenced the 2012 Governor’s Life Science Summit and Annual Meeting, noting that more than 700 industry leaders were present, including scientists, business people, consultants, and legislators.
WBBA President Chris Rivera invited attendees to take part in a discussion about strategies to support and cultivate the life science industry and associated partnerships in Washington. Rivera and the WBBA are helping their 500 member organizations meet their objectives through initiatives in the following arenas:
• Purchasing power
Washington has the largest global health sector in the United States, and the bioscience employment index is faring better than the rest of the private sector. Corroborating these facts, gubernatorial candidates Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee emphasized the social and economic importance of the biotechnology industry and the educated workforce that keeps it alive in Washington.
Candidate Rob McKenna - Remarks and Question/Answer Session
Candidate Jay Inslee - Remarks and Question/Answer Session
Clay Siegall, CEO of Seattle Genetics,focused on how far the life sciences industry in Washington has come. Through Washington’s unique innovative and collaborative environment, startup companies have been able to meet previously unmet needs and supplant standard treatments. Even with the long approval process, companies have been able to create value and push research and development through to commercialization. (Slides available here)
Clay Siegall - Presentation
Governor Chris Gregoire supported Siegall’s standpoint, highlighting the successes of the Life Sciences Discovery Fund and the trade missions to Pradesh, Washington’s sister state in India. As evidenced by a standing ovation, the crowd admired the accomplishments of her administration.
Washington biotechnology values:
• Meeting unmet needs
• Improving access to care
• Enhancing quality of care
• Innovating revolutionary products and ideas
• Collaborating with people from multiple fields
Gov. Chris Gregoire - Full Remarks
Highlighting Washington’s success in the global heath market, H. Stewart Parker, CEO of IDRI, presented the achievements that the Infectious Disease Research Institute has made in the development of vaccines and point-of-care diagnostics. Parker attributed many of IDRI’s accomplishments to its open collaboration with industry partners and the unique values and funding environment found in Washington.
Physio-Control CEO Brian Webster provided insight into the rewards and challenges of sustaining a medical device company on the global scale. He stated that growth required adaptation, but he also insisted that the larger scale allowed for greater impact and enriched innovation. (Slides available here.)
The session concluded with hopeful comments about the past, present, and future, as panel members noted the positive effects the life science sector has had on both the economy and patients. The speakers urged industry members to continue to foster a competitive and collaborative environment conducive to innovative entrepreneurship and the development of high quality products. With a steadily flowing pipeline of intellectual property out of the state’s universities and stable sources of intellectual and financial capital, positive trends in high tech creativity and entrepreneurship are likely continue.
Another highlight of our annual meeting was presenting awards to two of our most influential members. Philips was presented with the 3rd Annual WBBA Innovation Award, and Jeffrey Herz of Algomedix was given the Second Annual WBBA Volunteer of the Year Award.