WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (February 21, 2006) – Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), today presented Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with the “BIO Governor of the Year” Award at the Eighth Annual BioFlorida Conference. BIO presents the award annually to a governor who stands out in his/her efforts to improve the business and regulatory climates for biotechnology companies.
“Gov. Bush has been a stalwart advocate of biotechnology and the life sciences since becoming governor in 1998. He has become one of the most prolific advocates of biotechnology in the United States,” Greenwood said. “As a visionary, Gov. Bush has demonstrated his commitment to the biosciences industry by signing several important initiatives.”
Among his initiatives, Gov. Bush signed into the law the Technology Development Act, which established the Emerging Technology Commission and dedicated $30 million to create the Centers for Excellence. The centers include: the Center of Excellence in Regenerative Health Biotechnology at the University of Florida, the Florida Photonic Center of Excellence, and the Center of Excellence in Biomedical and Marine Biotechnology at Florida Atlantic University. Each of the centers will research and commercialize new medicines and technology to improve healthcare.
In November 2003, Gov. Bush signed a law laying the framework for the Scripps Research Institute to expand its world-renowned scientific research and endeavors to Florida. The bill, passed by the Florida Legislature, provides a one-time investment of $310 million from federal stimulus monies to cover the start-up operations of the Scripps Florida campus during the first seven years.
BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.