BIO Welcomes Creation of BIO Idaho

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 3, 2004) – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced today the creation of the Idaho Bioscience Association (BIO Idaho) to represent the state’s efforts to develop the bioscience industry. BIO now has affiliates in 37 states.

“I am especially pleased to welcome Idaho into the fold of states with regional trade associations to foster research and growth into the life sciences,” said Carl B. Feldbaum, president of BIO. “We are impressed with the R&D infrastructure already in place, and we look forward to working with BIO Idaho to help take the state’s nascent bioscience industry to the next level.” Feldbaum is retiring from BIO at the end of 2004 and plans to move to his home in Idaho.

“BIO Idaho will join a growing number of dedicated bioscience associations that make up the Council of State Bioscience Associations (CSBA) within BIO,” said Patrick Kelly, BIO’s vice president of state government relations. “The CSBA provides an excellent forum for BIO Idaho representatives to network with other state-based bioscience association executives and discuss policy matters affecting the industry as well as exchange best practices regarding association management.”

“BIO Idaho was formed to create a strong alliance between universities and biotechnology industries from all regions of Idaho,” said Philip Syrdal, BIO Idaho’s president and former CEO of an international immunology company. “The association’s primary role will be to enhance the development of the bioscience industry in Idaho, promoting the creation and retention of the state’s intellectual capital by focusing on the process of transferring promising technology into the private sector for investment and development. The organization is the first of its kind in Idaho and will serve as a central point of contact for a large community of companies involved in biotechnology, medicine, biomaterials, environmental and agricultural research.”

"Using seed money grants provided by the National Institutes of Health, Idaho's three universities — the University of Idaho, Boise State University and Idaho State University — have been working cooperatively to enhance the research infrastructure in Idaho,” according to BIO Idaho’s Chairman, Dr. Michael Laskowski of the University of Idaho. “This partnership between universities in promoting science education and research is fundamental to developing a strong bioscience industry in the state. BIO Idaho will now provide support, innovation and guidance in forging an effective university-industry partnership.”

In addition to Dr. Laskowski and Mr. Syrdal, Dr. Julia Oxford of Boise State University and Dr. Christopher Daniels of Idaho State University are Executive Committee members of the association’s founding Board of Directors. Significant initial funding for the organization has been provided by Idaho’s three major universities, the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), and by a federal grant from the Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN). A statewide member recruitment effort is beginning this summer.

BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotechnology centers in all 50 states and 33 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.