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Letter from the President
It is hard to believe that 2012 is winding down, where does time go?
As I begin to reflect on a very busy and productive year, I am also thankful for being able to work with some incredible people and organizations! From my great staff, to my board of directors to all of our wonderful members: all of you help make this one of the best jobs in the world.
Since my last letter in the Innovator, we have had a very busy fall! We started it out with one of our best panel discussions with “The Biopharmaceutical Marketplace – 2012,” held at the Washington State Convention Center. The expert panel discussed current and future trends, challenges and opportunities for all of us in the life science industry. We also made our annual trip to the Tri-Cities and had a record crowd network and discuss the emerging life science cluster in central Washington.
One of our signature events, the Governor’s Life Science Summit & WBBA Annual Meeting was outstanding. We acknowledged Governor Gregoire’s contributions to our sector, as well as hearing from both gubernatorial candidates just days before this year’s election. We look forward to working with Governor-Elect Inslee and continuing to grow this tremendous sector.
We are also very proud to announce that Philips Ultrasound was the winner of the WBBA’s Innovation Award, and Jeff Herz was our volunteer of the year. All of our keynotes were inspirational and informative, from Clay Siegall’s journey with Seattle Genetics, Stewart Parker’s vision for IDRI and Brian Webster’s great story about how PhysioControl invented defibrillators back in the 1950’s.
Last, but not least, we released our fourth annual Life Science Economic Impact Report at the Annual Meeting. From 2007 through 2011, life science jobs grew by approximately 12%, compared to a 2% decline in all other private sector jobs in the state. We now add nearly $11 billion to Washington’s GDP and $7 billion in personal income. If you have not read the report, please download your copy today.
We finished off the year with a couple of pub nights to help our members get into the holiday spirit, and hosted Shire Pharmaceuticals at our final VIP Forum for 2012.
Make sure that you check out our 2013 event calendar, you don’t want to miss any of the great events, or opportunities to network and sponsor next year.
Our Commercialization team continues to support and mentor dozens of new, aspiring life science start-up companies. More than 170 companies have worked with the WBBA to date, including 85 unique companies this year.
WINGS met again in October, and continues to invest in local MedTech companies. In addition, the WBBA was awarded a grant from the Herbert B. Jones Foundation that will allow us to match post-doc and grad students with companies interested in writing SBIR/STTR grant applications.
We are also very excited to once again host a suite for our members to use at the upcoming JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco next month. It was a big success last year, and we are looking forward to helping our members “close those deals” at JP Morgan next year.
Once again, I would like to thank all of you for a tremendous 2012! Without our incredible members, the WBBA would not be able to provide the support that is contributing to one of Washington’s largest and fastest growing industries.
Have a wonderful holiday season, and Happy New Year!