Letter from the President
Happy New Year to all. I hope that 2012 is off to a strong start for each of you!
This year, the WBBA has been hard at work, continuing to focus on our mission - to support and help grow Washington’s life science community. Here are a few highlights:
First, we’ve MOVED! If you have not seen our new digs, please stop by and say hello. We are now at 1551 Eastlake Ave. East, Suite 300. It is a beautiful office and we continue to be co-located with the Life Science Discovery Fund (LSDF). We are also proud to be in the same building as the Puget Sound Blood Center Research Institute, TapImmune, and Adaptive Biotechnologies. There is quite a bit of energy here and we are planning on having many of our upcoming events in our new space, so please stop by and see where we are newly-based.
For the first time, the WBBA hosted a hospitality suite at this year’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Overall, the suite was a big success and constantly used as a base of operations by our members during most of the conference. We also hosted a reception each evening, all of which were well attended and much appreciated. I would like to thank our Suite sponsors; Fenwick & West, Point B Consulting and VLST! Without their support, we would not have been able to host the room. We hope that we can do this again next year.
Due to our winter weather, we had to reschedule our Bio on the Vine event. The event was a huge success and extremely well attended. I hope you were able to join us.
Check out our upcoming 2012 events on our website - we have great content and plenty of networking opportunities on the calendar this year.
On the policy front, we have also been very active. We hosted Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn at our office and conducted a roundtable discussion with approximately 20 of Seattle’s life science leaders. We also hosted Congressman Adam Smith and were able to discuss the issues that are of most concern for our members. The WBBA has been very active in Olympia during this year’s legislative session, and Patti McKinnell Davis has already been to Washington DC twice this year. And we are looking forward to the DC BIO Fly-In April 23 – 25; please plan on joining us for this very important event that helps increase our federal delegation’s awareness of the importance of our sector and the strong policy required to support it.
In addition, we were recently asked to present at the National Governors Association (NGA) Western Region annual meeting in Seattle and discuss the WBBA’s Commercialization programs and our support growing jobs. Eleven other states’ governors and economic development professionals took copious notes as several of us discussed WINGS, VIP Forums, LSDF and our commercialization community.
For more information, I encourage you to go to WBBA’s Public Policy page on our website to learn more about our priorities and to get involved.
On the Commercialization front, WINGS recently held its 8th investor meeting. There was high-level of energy and interest in the four companies selected to present to the Angel investors. WINGS continues to be one of our most successful endeavors and is helping to fund some very exciting companies.
For our first Venture Investor & Partnering (VIP) Forum of 2012, we hosted Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). More than 100 life science professionals attended the BMS open forum discussion held at Zymogenetics facility, followed by eleven 1:1 meetings between BMS and local executives and researchers. There was an overwhelming response by everyone involved and we invite you to future open forums or apply to meet with our upcoming VIPs: MedImmune Ventures and AstraZeneca. We are working on scheduling other VIPs for 2012 - stay tuned.
Another big milestone for our Commercialization efforts is that we have exceeded meeting with and mentoring more than 100 unique, start-up life science companies! Ten new start-ups have already reached out to the WBBA’s Commercialization team for support this year!
What else have we been up to?
I am very pleased and proud to have announced our staffing changes that occurred earlier this year. Christiana DelloRusso, PhD has been promoted to our Director of Commercialization, and Dennis Kroft joined us as our new Director of Marketing & Membership. We are proud of Christiana’s promotion and thrilled to have Dennis on the WBBA team. In addition, Andrew (Drew) McUsic, PhD has joined us as our Commercialization Associate, and Tom Vásquez has joined us as our new Communications Manager. The WBBA is growing and working to help support you and your organization; we are very proud of the work that we are doing.
Stay tuned for additional events and activities by following us at www.washbio.org, or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
In 2011, our members purchased nearly $30 million of products and services through the WBBA’s Purchasing Partners, saving more than $4 million! In this economy that is not insignificant. We continue to speak and meet with other potential partners and communicating with our membership to ensure that you are taking advantage of these programs.
We remain dedicated to work with our members to help grow and succeed in this difficult economy, as well as to focus on our mission to grow life sciences in Washington, and to support “Innovation to realization, supporting 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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