Observations of BIO2008 - Wednesday

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Had another very productive day on Wednesday at the BIO 2008 conference making and strengthening connections.

I've had a number of additional conversations on social networking in the biotechnology industry.

  • Genome Alberta has developed a Facebook Application that allows users to ‘give the gift of a gene’ to their friends on Facebook.  Each virtual gene comes with a brief description of what the gene does, a special icon developed just for the application.  check it out at facebook.genomealberta.ca.
  • Beaker.com has recently launched a social network site for life sciences professionals.  While primarily focused on recruitment, it is targeted at getting those who aren't currently looking for a job to network in advance of that next position.  From my conversation with CEO Jeffrey Clark, this looks like a good site with lots of potential for those in the biotech industry to find and get connected in a way that is complementary to some of the other social networking sites.
  • Another couple of conversations dealt with the need and opportunity to educate those scientists in academia about how to recognize and seize the opportunities for commercial applications of technologies and how the opportunity seems to be with the students and post-docs, rather than the faculty.

There seems to be a growing opportunity to network between businesses and academics and the whole social networking arena seems ripe for exploitation. Also attended the lunch, the crowd was huge.  I'm not sure who the biggest draw was for the crowd, but I was most impressed with Craig Venter's story of synthetic genomics and synthetic organisms and their potential.   What a game changing scenario!

The Canadian Soiree at the San Diego Zoo was a very well attended event as usual. The location was good, but it was a shame that more of the zoo wasn’t open for viewing. It was also a shame that the Canadian official referred to VCs as reptiles as they do serve an important part of the food chain in the life sciences industry and there needs to be a recognition that there is value in the risks that they take.

I also attended the Barney&Barney/Ernst&Young event at the Hard Rock Hotel which was very well done. Great entertainment and a great venue!

Looking forward to another full day today!