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Telling the Biotech Story at the BIO International Convention

June 29, 2012
The global event for biotechnology wrapped up last week at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, Mass.

The event was a huge success, with a record 25,291 partnering meetings and hundreds of high-level speakers addressing critical global challenges and opportunities. More than 16,500 industry leaders from 49 states and 65 countries attended, yet again earning the title as the largest biotechnology event in the world.

People are always asking for my perspective on our Convention, and to share with them what I believe is the true value of the event.

As an industry, we have challenges that still lay ahead but there was clearly significant energy and optimism throughout the Convention. The record-breaking number of partnering meetings show continued engagement and energy. We can collectively celebrate the most recent breakthroughs in biotechnology as indications of the ongoing promise of the science. As we all know, the real winners are the patients who have been waiting for cures and treatments for the most devastating and life-threatening conditions.

Our Convention is critical for the industry, and critical for our organization, as it draws industry leaders from around the world to discuss possible partnerships and collaborations, share the latest insights on trends having a major impact on the industry, and providing an opportunity to tell the biotech story.

Everyone who attended last week’s event can provide myriad examples of these activities as we each have unique perspectives. I had the opportunity to tell the biotech story to Convention attendees during my Keynote Address on Tuesday. I believe that we have a lot to be proud of as an industry, and it was my honor to celebrate the researchers who worked on some of the newly approved breakthroughs, and the patients whose lives they've changed.

New at this year’s Convention, we turned the cameras on attendees in the BIO Buzz Center. We hosted video interviews with more than 40 industry leaders, including Ernst & Young’s Glen Giovannetti, Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Humanitarian Award Winner Dr. Margaret Foti, Battelle’s Mitch Horowitz, Scientific American’s Worldview editors, and numerous patient advocacy groups. We also heard from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

Throughout the week, we also heard from more than 800 speakers in 125 sessions across 14 tracks on the latest trends, policy and regulatory changes shaping the industry, new business and investing models, and patenting and tech transfer issues, among many other topics. These sessions are critical for keeping industry leaders at the forefront of major trends that will move this industry forward.

Partnering activity at the Convention will have the greatest impact on the future of the industry as the connections and discussions held at last week’s Convention will have an exponential effect on the industry. An unprecedented number of biotech companies took the opportunity to share their biotech story with potential partners and collaborators. The BIO Business Forum connected biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academic research institutions and investors from around the world for one-on-one meetings to discuss potential partnerships and collaborations, hosted partnering meetings between 2,900 companies and 190 company presentations. New this year, Exhibitor Partnering hosted 4,300 partnering meetings within the BIO Exhibition.

In addition, the 180,550 sq. ft. BIO Exhibition featured more than 2,000 exhibitors. The BIO Exhibition included 34 country and 26 state pavilions.

Now we turn our attention to the 2013 BIO International Convention, which will be held April 22-25 in Chicago, Illinois at McCormick Place. Please join me in Chicago and don’t miss your chance to tell your biotech story to the global biotech industry.

For Convention video, photos, and more, please visit; for session coverage, please visit, and for industry reports released last week, please visit