BIRMINGHAM, AL— Today, more than one hundred biotech CEOs, university leaders, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors convened in Birmingham for the 2016 BioAlabama Annual Meeting to identify opportunities for innovation, economic development and job creation stemming from the state’s growing biotechnology and life sciences industries.
At the annual meeting, themed “Building Alabama Biotech: Emerging Business, Talent and Innovation,” Alabama Governor Robert Bentley provided keynote remarks on the importance of the state’s continued commitment to support recruitment and development of biotech research and manufacturing companies in the state.
“It’s entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Governor Bentley of the state’s bioscience industry, which represents more than 500 life science companies and start-ups across the state. “It helps create jobs from ideas.”
Strategies to develop innovative ideas and research—and transition those ideas into successful, job-creating companies—was the topic of two featured panel discussions and a keynote presentation from Rafael Andino, Vice President of Clearside Biomedical, an Alpharetta, Georgia-based biopharmaceutical company that earlier this year began the registration process for its Initial Public Offering.
This year, BioAlabama presented the inaugural Element Award, recognizing an individual’s ongoing efforts to help build and bolster the biotechnology and life science industries in the state of Alabama, to Jim Hudson, Co-Founder of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville.
The Alabama life sciences industry continues to flourish and be recognized globally for meaningful contributions to human and environmental health and to agriculture. The latest Alabama Life Sciences Report indicates the life sciences industry in Alabama has experienced strong annual growth of 7.9, ranking Alabama fourth in the country for growth in biotechnology research and development. This emerging economic engine can be seen in the more than 660 life science entities and their more than 13,000 employees in the state.