This day—Thursday, May 21—marks the final day of the 2009 BIO International Convention in Atlanta. The overall mood at the convention this past week can best be described as refreshingly energetic. And, people were getting down to business! Attendees and exhibitors alike spoke highly of the quality interactions and valuable business contacts. The BIO Business Forum conducted a record-setting 14,202 30-minute partnering meetings (with 190 companies presenting), in addition to the 15-minute company presentations. Packed sessions (170 total in 22 tracks), lively receptions, inspirational keynoters and an energetic exhibition across 176,000 net square feet, helped create a spirited event. For the 14,352 in attendance, you know how difficult it is to take everything in during the convention. We’ve recapped some highlights for you—and for those who couldn’t make it to Atlanta. Not to worry for you non-attendees—we’ve already started planning the 2010 event in Chicago! We’re building on the new opportunities and fresh solutions that started to emerge this week! Wednesday’s health care policy keynote featured Sen. Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.); William Frist M.D., former Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.); Mr. Karl Rove, former Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush; and, Susan Dentzer, Editor-in-Chief of Health Affairs. The panel discussed current bills being proposed in House and Senate, options for a public health insurance program, the need for capital and investment in biotech industry, and how to control costs within the health care system. In his keynote speech, Sir Elton John demanded that the biotech industry confront the reality of the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic.To support his foundation efforts, BIO has pledged $150,000 to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Watch Sir Elton John being interviewed on CNN May 19.