Conference connects Oklahoma to bioscience world

The 2012 BIO International convention last month attracted nearly 17,000 international participants and stakeholders in biotech and pharma.
BY TOM WALKER Published: July 3, 2012

The 2012 BIO International Convention last month attracted nearly 17,000 international participants and stakeholders in biotech and pharma.

Held in Boston, a cradle of biotech, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) billed the show as “the most productive week you'll have all year,” and from our experience, this claim seems accurate.

“Oklahoma had one of our largest delegations ever, with 32 sponsors and about 90 people from more than 35 Oklahoma organizations from all parts of the state,” said Josh O'Brien, director of the office of Entrepreneurial Development, a joint initiative between i2E and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.

“It was a great opportunity for Oklahoma to remind the international stage that our state is open for business in biotech and bioscience, that we are ready to engage around the world,” O'Brien said. “We had all the major research institutions and a dozen companies supporting and being part of things.”

BIO 2012 was O'Brien's 10th BIO International Convention.

“When you have a large group of partners working together and having conversations for five days, it's a springboard for many directions,” he said. “It helps galvanize partnerships throughout the state and creates a strong consortium to work together on the pressing issue of how we can improve our state's rate of turning great science into great companies that create jobs.”

One thing that was new and that helped increase interest was Oklahoma's intense focus on business partnering. Oklahoma's booth was the largest pavilion the state has ever had, with some 2,000 square feet, including two meeting rooms.

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Attendees from 49 states and 65 countries attended 2012 BIO. More than 25,000 partnering meetings took place at the event.

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