Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has supported local companies taking part in the world’s leading life sciences exhibition, BIO International Convention in San Diego.
Thirteen Northern Ireland companies and organisations are taking part in The Bio International Convention, which is attended by exhibitors from around the world. This year, over 28,000 partnering meetings are scheduled to take place during the event.
Arlene Foster said: “Exhibitions like BIO are excellent opportunities for local businesses to establish new trade relationships, collaborative research opportunities and also to promote Northern Ireland as an investment location for the life sciences sector.
“Northern Ireland is becoming recognised as a centre of expertise for life sciences and connected health. Currently the sector employs over 5,700 people and it also accounts for 10.4% of Northern Ireland exports. Our companies and academic institutions are working with partners across Europe and the US to develop solutions for the 21st century healthcare market.”
During the visit to The Bio Convention, the Minister announced that Invest NI is to recruit a new member of staff who will focus on identifying opportunities for Northern Ireland in research collaboration, investment and exports within the life sciences sector.
Arlene Foster added: “The new member of staff will be an important resource for Northern Ireland companies and organisations in this important sector. Based in Boston, he or she will also work to build on the excellent relationships Northern Ireland has with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and other regions as part of the New Innovations in Medical Sciences and Connected Health initiative (NIMAC)
“We have a number of world-class life sciences companies exhibiting this year at BIO as well as representatives from our universities, and I’m confident that the executives and decision makers attending the event will be impressed by what they have to offer.”
The Minister’s attendance at BIO is part of a four-day trade mission to the US. The programme also includes meetings with a number of existing and potential investors.
The Northern Ireland companies and researchers participating at BIO are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and biotechnology products.