WASHINGTON (June 13, 2003) — More than 3,300 delegates from 50 countries outside North America, including scientists, investors, senior ministers and foreign officials will descend on Washington June 22-25 for BIO 2003 — the Biotechnology Industry Organization's (BIO's) annual conference. This is the first time the meeting has been held in Washington in BIO's ten-year history. The nation's capital, viewed as the hub of regulatory and legislative policy for biotechnology, as well as the home of important research centers such as the National Institutes of Health, is proving a particularly attractive draw for the global biotechnology industry. More than 15,000 biotechnology industry executives, researchers, legislators, regulatory officials and journalists are expected to attend BIO 2003.
Europe leads the international count with more than 2,300 registrants, followed by nearly 900 from Asia. Eleven countries are sending delegations with more than 100 registrants; they include Japan, the Netherlands, Taiwan (Republic of China), South Korea, Sweden, and Switzerland. Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have more than 200 registrants in their contingents. For the first time representatives of Luxembourg and Poland will attend the conference.
- Foreign dignitaries attending the meeting include:
- Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Minister for Science and Innovation (U.K.)
- The Honourable Allan Rock, Minister of Industry (Canada)
- His Excellency Jean-David Levitte, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary (France)
- The Honourable Pete Hodgson, Minister of Research, Science & Technology (New Zealand)
- Mr. Georg-Wilhelm Adamowitsch, Administrative State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Economics & Labour (Germany)
- His Excellency Suwit Khunkitti, Deputy Prime Minister, Kingdom of Thailand
- His Excellency Dr. Isaac C. Lamba, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Malawi Mission to the United Nations
- The Honourable Girolamo Sirchia, Minister of Health, Italy
These and other government officials will participate in activities including the 2003 Global Biotechnology Forum: Biotechnology for Public Health in Less Developed Countries on Sunday, June 22, 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Participants have been asked to identify political actions needed to ensure the beneficial application of biotechnology for public health in less developed countries.
In the exhibit hall, 27 countries join an additional 1,200 exhibitors to fill 345,000 square feet of exhibit space. Economic development representatives from these 27 countries have secured large pavilions to position their countries as attractive business environments for biotechnology operations.
Partnering—more than 3,500 meetings are scheduled to match business opportunities with the financial capital to bring them to fruition. And finally, BIO 2003 will feature a record 25 educational tracks with 940 speakers covering 199 sessions and symposiums on policy, business development, science and regulatory affairs and forums on bioethics, global health and patient advocacy.
BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.