BIO Congratulates Gary Locke on His Nomination as U.S. Commerce Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, February 26, 2009) - Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement today regarding President Obama’s nomination of former Governor Gary Locke for U.S. Secretary of Commerce:

“President Obama has chosen in Governor Gary Locke a strong proponent of technological innovation.  We support Governor Locke’s general philosophy about the importance of innovation.  He has said, ‘our nation's economic success is tied directly to America continuing to lead in technology and innovation.”  As former governor of Washington – one of our nation’s most vibrant biotech hubs - he understands the leading role biotechnology plays in continuing U.S. leadership in innovation and in creating high-wage, high-value, green jobs.

“As governor, he successfully managed and strengthened his state’s economy, while expanding health care to underserved children and adults and dramatically raising academic achievement. Furthermore, Governor Locke is a board trustee of the Life Sciences Discovery Fund, which promotes bioscience within the state of Washington. The Fund began operations in 2006 and will make $350 million in grants that fuel advanced research in human health.

“President Obama’s selection of Governor Locke brings a proven leader and advocate for economic development to a department that will be integral to the successful rebuilding of the US Economy.”

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About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.