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Sonia Robinson to lead the state-wide organization
BIO Alabama, the statewide bioscience association has announced its first full-time executive director, Sonia Robinson. Robinson will lead the organization to assist its members and the state in growing jobs, increasing research investment, and expanding international trade.
The Biosciences industry in Alabama contributes $7.3 Billion in economic impact.
“The entire life sciences ecosystem is active in Alabama from research to institutional tech transfer; from startups and corporate innovation to global manufacturing,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of Commerce, Alabama Department of Commerce. “With this milestone, BIO Alabama is positioned to foster continued growth and development within the bioscience industry.”
The industry segments represented in Alabama include medical devices and materials, pharmaceuticals, research and development, information technology, genetics, genomics and personalized medicine. BIO Alabama is the state partner of the international life sciences trade organization Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).
BIO Alabama’s mission is to cultivate a thriving bioscience ecosystem in Alabama through collaboration and investment, both in industry and research. Board Chair Peggy Sammon said, “Alabama is home to cutting edge research and innovation; we want to be recognized as such and to help our bioscience industry grow. It’s time to devote full time resources to this goal and we’re confident that Sonia Robinson will bring the leadership and strategic thinking to this effort.”
Robinson’s career in healthcare marketing and public relations and her experience with startups are very relevant to the issues BIO Alabama will be addressing. Robinson has held positions in marketing, business development, customer service, human resources, and back-office operations. In 2017, Robinson was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her personal investigation into treatment options gave her deep respect for the efforts of researchers and especially the role of personalized medicine. Robinson is now active as a survivor and advocate.
“As an Alabama native, I am so proud of our rich history in agriculture, automobiles, tech, rockets, and aviation. Bioscience joined the state narrative years ago, but it is time to share that news of those successes and impact more broadly,” said Sonia Robinson. “Communities and companies in Alabama are already experiencing how bioscience is an economic force for our future,” Robinson adds.
BIO Alabama members join an exceptional network of innovative companies and industry thought leaders. Members gain access to opportunities for collaboration, trade, exposure, professional development, networking, and growth within the bioscience industry.
“We have an active board ready to support our new executive director with strategic initiatives designed to cultivate relationships and expand networks for the many bioscience companies in our state,” said Blair King, Board Chair-Elect. “BIO Alabama enhances state-wide economic development initiatives by supporting new, emerging, and existing bioscience organizations through collaboration, advocacy, and support.”
BIO Alabama is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Satellite offices are located throughout the state.