CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced today that BIO 2010, the world’s most prestigious international life sciences conference, is coming back to Chicago after its tremendously successful conference here in April. BIO 2006 was a unique opportunity for Illinois to showcase its growing biotech business to the almost 20,000 people who attended from across the U.S. and 62 countries. Nearly one-third of the attendees were international participants. The annual BIO convention is the industry's largest gathering of researchers, major international and domestic biotech corporations, start-ups, regulators and investors. The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau estimates that BIO 2006 had a direct economic impact of almost $28 million. BIO 2010 will be held at McCormick Place from May 2-5, 2010. The Governor is also providing $1 million to bring BIO 2010 back to Chicago.
“Scientists are using biotechnology to try and find solutions to everything from cancer and Alzheimer’s to safer food for our children. This research is cleaning our air and fighting crime. We are also putting science to work in Illinois by taking discoveries and turning them into new companies, marketable products and high-paying, high-tech Illinois jobs. Our state has been recognized as a national leader in this emerging science, and BIO 2006 is going to help us achieve things we haven’t even thought of yet. Bringing BIO 2010 back to Chicago is going to make an even greater impact as biotech continues expanding in companies, laboratories and universities across Illinois,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
“Having Chicago selected again to host BIO 2010 demonstrates a great vote of confidence for our region as a major player in the biotech industry,” said Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. “We look forward to welcoming BIO back to Chicago and Illinois to showcase the depth and breadth of biotechnology in the Midwest to the international leaders of the industry.”
“The convergence of health, food and agriculture, and industrial and environmental biotechnology in the Midwest created a fantastic opportunity for the biotech industry to show the many ways it is innovating to cure and prevent disease, alleviate hunger, and improve the environment,” said Jim Greenwood, BIO President and CEO. “We appreciate the support of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and his colleagues in the Midwestern Governors’ Association, as well as Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, iBIO, and our other state affiliates in the Midwest in ensuring the overwhelming success of BIO 2006 and in pledging to make BIO 2010 even greater.”
A record-breaking number of business leaders also met, negotiated and exchanged ideas at the BIO 2006 business forum. Almost 1,500 companies participated in a record 11,018 meetings. Illinois is already home to nearly 60,000 employees at more than 1,100 biotech firms. Business Facilities Magazine rated Illinois the top state in the nation for biotech growth in 2005.
At BIO 2006, Illinois demonstrated that it is Putting Science to Work – the theme of this year’s Illinois Pavilion – by emphasizing the state’s unmatched university and research institutions, world-class infrastructure, diversified workforce, aggressive government support and its innovative Illinois companies. The State of Illinois, in partnership with the City of Chicago, had a 6,400 square foot Pavilion, one of the largest and most prominent spaces at the convention, which had the latest innovations in biotech, while highlighting Illinois’ unique and dynamic blend of all the biotech sectors. More than 40 Illinois companies, organizations and institutions were on display.
“BIO 2006 defined Chicago and Illinois as the hub of a large, diverse biotech region and set a new record for the event with the best attendance in its 14 year history,” said Miles White, BIO 2006 Steering Committee Co-Chair and Abbott Chairman and CEO. “BIO 2010 in Chicago achieves our goal of bringing the forum back to the city and providing additional opportunities to showcase the investment in science, education and business in the Midwest.”
Illinois also showcased its world-class universities and research institutions like the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Institute for Genomic Biology, the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, University Technology Park at Illinois Institute of Technology and the Illinois Medical District.
Multi-billion dollar Illinois medical companies, including Abbott, Baxter Labs and Dade-Behring, are giants who are setting industry standards for excellence in the biotech field.
“The iBIO organization, its members and affiliates are delighted to have the annual BIO meeting return to Chicago in 2010,”said Norbert Riedel, Ph.d., chairman iBIO's board of directors and Baxter International Inc.'s chief scientific officer. “After the outstanding success in 2006, we look forward to again hosting the most significant gathering of the global biotechnology community. The Midwest's ongoing partnerships among our world-class academic research institutions and our vibrant cluster of biotechnology-based healthcare, agricultural and industrial companies will again serve as the foundation for another high-impact conference.”
Over the past three and a half years, Gov. Blagojevich has been making the investments that are growing biotech in Illinois:
1.) Illinois became the first Midwest state and only the fourth state in the nation to commit public funds to stem cell research. The Governor is investing $15 million in stem cell research.
2.) Illinois has worked to promote the use of alternative fuels like E-85 and biodiesel.
Became the first state to completely eliminate the state sales tax on E-85 and biodiesel blends of 11 percent and higher (“B11”), dramatically increasing E-85 sales and creating the largest biodisel market in the nation.
Provided more than $5 million to the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville that is pioneering biofuels research.
Invested $500,000 to increase access to E-85 and allow more gas station operators to offer the 85 percent ethanol fuel. Since 2004, the number of E-85 retail sales locations has increased from 14 to about 100, which is about 20 percent of the entire nation’s E-85 stations.
Provided $4.8 million to the Lincolnland Agri-Energy Ethanol plant in Palestine, which is now producing more than 40 million gallons of ethanol per year. The Governor is investing $20 million in this fiscal year to further increase the production of biofuels in Illinois.
3.) Helping leading biotech companies move to and expand in Illinois. Gov. Blagojevich has partnered with Astellas Pharma, Hospira and Takeda Pharmaceuticals to expand or relocate their headquarters, which is helping to create and retain more than 1,300 jobs.
4.) Investing to Improve Illinois’ Biotech Infrastructure:
$1 million for the Illinois Science + Technology Park, a 1.5 million square foot campus to commercialize scientific research in Skokie. The multi-tenant Park is expected to create 3,250 new jobs on-site, more than 10,000 ripple-effect jobs and 1,000 construction jobs. Upon completion, the campus will generate $1.8 billion annually in statewide economic activity, according to a study conducted by Applied Real Estate Analysis, Inc.
$4.5 million to help launch the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center to nurture start-ups in the fields on nanotechnology, bio-science, health care and agriculture. It is expected to accommodate up to 20 firms and create more than 200 jobs in three years and up to 1,200 jobs over the next eight years as these companies grow.
$1.6 million for the new Biotechnology Laboratory Incubator at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville that will soon house as many as twelve biology, chemistry or biochemical laboratories.
This cutting-edge science has already led to a number of innovations, including:
Treating and curing disease. There are more than 300 biotech drug products and vaccines in clinical trials targeting more than 200 diseases, including various cancers, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and arthritis.
Creating a safer food supply. Biotech foods, such as corn and tomatoes, reduce our dependence on chemical pesticides and herbicides, while improving our food supply.
Helping farmers prosper. Herbicide-resistant biotech crops can save farmers millions annually in labor and fuel costs while improving yields.
Developing new, improved ways to produce energy. Biotech processes convert soybeans into environmentally-friendly fuel for diesel engines and transform corn into ethanol for a cost-competitive gasoline (E-85), which supports rural economic development and lessens our dependence on imported oil.
Preventing terrorism and fighting crime. DNA fingerprinting has dramatically improved criminal investigation and forensic medicine.
“Over the last several years, Gov. Blagojevich has helped build tremendous momentum throughout our biotech industry, and, by bringing BIO 2010 back to Chicago, that progress will intensify as our companies and entrepreneurs gain access to even more national and international opportunities. These unprecedented conferences are going to have a lasting legacy and put more people to work across Illinois for years to come,” Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin said.