Letter from the President
Welcome to the Fall 2011 edition of “The Innovator”.
It is hard to believe that it is already time for Fall in the Northwest. The year has been flying by so far.
Since the last edition of “The Innovator”, we have produced some incredible events, signed up more Purchasing Partners, made great strides in our Commercialization programs, and continue to focus on growing life sciences in Washington through our Policy efforts!
In June, we hosted our 4th annual Life Science Leadership Summit in Spokane, at Washington State University’s Riverpoint campus. More than 90 industry, research and policy leaders discussed the state of life sciences in Washington and what we need to do to nurture its continued growth. I also accompanied the Governor on her Trade Mission to France and Germany (photo). We had numerous meaningful discussions, which will help us increase our potential collaborations with partners from both countries. Following the Trade Mission, we attended the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) International Conference and helped support WBBA members there. I was also elected as the current Chairman, Council of State BioScience Associations (CSBA). A great honor, and a role that will continue to draw potential investment, partners and highlight Washington’s great life sciences ecosystem.
July was also very productive. The 6th annual BioExec Connect dinner was held and more than 75 life science executives heard from Daiichi Sankyo, Amgen and New Century Partners about the important role of strategic partnering. And, more than 250 of you had a blast at our 13th annual Summer Social! The weather was not perfect, but a good time was had by all. We also hosted the 6th WINGS investor meeting, so far 8 out of 18 companies have received some funding from WINGS investors, with 2 more in the diligence phase. We are thrilled by this initiative!
Isn’t August the month for vacations? Don’t tell the WBBA team that! August started with a gathering of more than 300 struggling life sciences folks andmore than 20 federal and state policy makers to showcase Awardees of the Life Science Discovery Fund who depict whylife sciences is so critical to Washington’s future at our 3rd annual WBBA/LSDF Open House. We had “chamber of commerce” weather for our 7th annual WBBA Golf BioPac fundraiser where The WBBA foursome came in 2nd place this year. The funds raised are critical to help us prepare for a very important 2012 election year in Washington. Our latest VIP Forum featured Merck’s new Innovation Global Fund, where nearly 100 interested came to hear the Global Health Fund’s area of investment interests, and followed by a full day of 1:1 pre-selected meetings the following day.
In addition, WBBA has facilitated round table discussions with Patty Murray, Dave Reichart and Adam Smith with dozens of life science executives. We have been contacted by, and have invited both leading gubernatorial candidates to meet with the WBBA Board of Directors later this year. It is a good sign that our state’s leaders are recognizing the life sciences sector and interested in ways they can help to keep us strong and vibrant.
On a personal note, I also had the opportunity to participate in a few very special events. The Fairwood Golf and Country Club, of which I am current President, hosted several of the Blue Angel crew and pilots when they were in town for SeaFair. As a result, I was awarded VIP passes at Boeing Field, which provided unbelievable views and access to these incredible machines and humans! I was also invited by Virginia Mason to participate in the Korean Air Pro-Am at the Boeing Classic this year. It was a great time, and the benefits go to a very important organization, Benaroya Research Institute. And, last but not least, my wife, Sally, and I became empty nesters, taking our youngest (Nick) to college at WSU. We now have the Apple Cup in our home, with a Senior (Kaeli) at UW and a Freshman at WSU – wish us well!
We hope to see you at some of our Fall and Winter events, including: Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine; Pub Night; From Bench to Bedside, Helping patients better, faster and cheaper, Early Stage IP Workshop and the Lab to Leadership workshop. In addition, we are thrilled with the lineup at our Governor’s Life Science Summit & Annual Meeting. Confirmed keynote speakers and special guests this year, include; Governor Christine Gregoire, John Lechleigher, CEO, Eli Lilly & Co., Conrad Smits, CEO & General Manager, Philips Ultrasound, and Michael Young, President, University of Washington.. There will also be other featured guests, acknowledgements and awards at the event. This is a MUST ATTEND event.
Our members have purchased nearly $30M through the WBBA’s Purchasing Partners, saving more than $4M! In this economy, that is not insignificant. We continue to add other partners to the purchasing “arsenal” to ensure that WBBA members are taking advantage of these programs.
Our commercialization team has been working hard to assist and grow our life sciences start-up community. So far in 2011, 55 new organizations have sought expert counsel from the WBBA. In 2010, more than 50 new life science start-ups sought our advice… and we are very proud that about 30% of these entrepreneurs successfully started their venture with our assistance. WINGS, VIP Forums and www.lifesciencestartup.com continue to be critical elements to our growing entrepreneurial community.
In addition to our pro-bono commercialization consulting services, the WBBA has partnered with the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development to “GrowSeattle” – an initiative to grow life science businesses and retain jobs to create a sustainable Seattle economy. We’ve also been awarded a Washington State CERB grant to support medical technology product exports. The WBBA, University of Washington’s C4C, and the Washington Global Health Alliance are collaborating to enhance www.lifesciencestartup.com as a tool that directly impacts medical technology exports from WA state. Stay tuned as these programs develop.
As mentioned earlier, many of our state and federal delegates are reaching out to WBBA and our members to hear directly what our priorities are. It is vital that we continue to hear from everyone in our community on key issues that are of the highest priority to you. Our Government Affairs Committee is finalizing our 2012 priorities, and the WBBA continues to increase life sciences influence and voice in both Olympia and Washington DC.
I encourage you to go to WBBA’s Public Policy page on our website to learn more about our priorities and to get involved.
We remain dedicated to work to help our members grow and succeed, as well as to focus on our mission to grow life sciences in Washington, and to support “Innovation to realization, from breakthrough discoveries to better health care solutions.”
Please feel free to let us know how we can be of assistance to you, and we hope to see you in the very near future.
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