Sir Elton John to Deliver Keynote Address at 2009 BIO International Convention

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, March 11, 2009) - The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced today that Sir Elton John will be a keynote speaker at the 2009 BIO International Convention.  This year's global event for biotechnology will take place on May 18-21, 2009, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Sir Elton John is scheduled to speak at noon on Tuesday, May 19, 2009.  He will focus on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, how biotechnology has influenced prevention and treatment of the disease and an outlook of the challenges and solutions that lie ahead. 

"For many years, we have been deeply impressed by Sir Elton John's long-standing commitment to the fight against AIDS and his efforts to raise money for HIV/AIDS charitable organizations since the mid-1980's,”said BIO President and CEO James C. Greenwood. "We share a common vision when it comes to solving some of the world's most challenging health problems, like HIV/AIDS. We are honored to have Sir Elton address our International Convention, which is anticipated to draw some 20,000 people from around the globe.” 

In 1992, frustrated and angered by the growing magnitude of the epidemic and how comparatively little was being done to help those affected by the virus, Sir Elton decided to bring focus to all of his AIDS-related work by establishing the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) in the United States (EJAF-US).  The following year, he also established this foundation in the United Kingdom (EJAF-UK). 

Today, EJAF is one of the world's leading nonprofit organizations supporting innovative HIV prevention programs, direct care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS, and efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with the disease.  EJAF US's current grant-making priorities target HIV prevention programs in the Southern United States, the Caribbean and Latin America, focusing on HIV prevention and care services for highly marginalized and vulnerable populations, and HIV/AIDS prevention education and the promotion of sexual health for adolescents.  EJAF-UK focuses its grant making on projects in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

In addition to Sir Elton John's keynote address, presentations and educational sessions at the 2009 BIO International Convention will focus on research and development, partnership opportunities, and new business models required to meet global health challenges.  The BIO Exhibition at the International Convention will feature new Product Focus Zones, including BioIT, BioFuels, Business Services and Emerging Technologies.

Each year, the BIO International Convention draws approximately 20,000 industry leaders from 60 countries.  This year, the Convention program will feature more than 150 sessions in 22 breakout session tracks.  Sessions will address the most pressing issues facing biotech today, including healthcare pricing and access, capital formation and partnering strategies in a tight credit environment, and climate change and biofuels.

In addition, this year’s BIO Exhibition will cover will cover an estimated 200,000 net sq. ft. and host more than 2,200 exhibitors.

To register for the BIO International Convention, please visit   Attendees can save 30% on registration by signing up before April 9, 2009.

Advanced media registration will be available online through May 8, 2009.  To register, please visit htttp://

The BIO International Convention helps to support BIO programs and initiatives.  BIO works throughout the year to create a policy environment that enables the industry to continue to fulfill its vision of bettering the world through biotechnology innovation.  For more information on the global event for biotechnology, including program and housing information, please visit  

Upcoming BIO Events

BIO-Europe Spring
March 16-18, 2009
Milan, Italy

BIO IP Counsels' Committee Conference
March 25–27, 2009
Phoenix, AZ

BIO National Venture Conference
March 31–April 1,2009
Boston, MA

BIO Windhover 2009
April 13-15, 2009
New York, NY

BIO-LES Business Development Basics Course
May 15–17, 2009
Atlanta, GA  

BIO-LES Advanced Business Development Course
May 15–17, 2009
Atlanta, GA 

BIO Executive Presentation Workshop
May 17, 2009
Atlanta, GA

BIO Human Resources Conference
May 17-19, 2009
Atlanta, GA

2009 BIO International Convention
May 18-21, 2009
Atlanta, GA

BioEquity Europe
June 9-10, 2009
Munich, Germany

World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing
July 19-22, 2009
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


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.