Major Northern Ireland presence at Bio 2010

Local industry leaders, research institutes and the universities will be showing their expertise in life sciences on an Invest Northern Ireland stand, from 3-6 May, at the Bio 2010 International Convention in Chicago.

BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centres and related organisations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. The Northern Ireland group is among the biggest and most influential organised by Invest NI.

Taking part will be experts involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. The event is the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry.

Invest NI’s R&D team will also be represented and will be promoting Northern Ireland as an important health technology location. Dr Andy Sutton, Invest NI’s Health and Life Sciences Global Adviser, will be a speaker at one of the briefing events in the UK Pavilion.

In addition, Invest NI is organising networking events between the Northern Ireland group and representatives from Australia, China, France, New Zealand, Scotland, South Korea and a number of regions within North America.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, described BIO 2010 as a ‘must attend event’ for the local biotechnology industry.

Dr Kell said: “BIO is the ideal platform for Northern Ireland to showcase the expertise that exists here across a broad range of biotechnology sectors including diagnostics, clinical testing, cancer research and biomedical science.

“As well as demonstrating the region’s tremendous expertise, the event also enables local industry leaders and researchers to network with other experts from around the world, especially the US, on issues of critical importance to all segments of the biotechnology industry. These include health and medicine, food and agriculture, industry and environment and emerging companies.

“The event will enable them to update their knowledge on critical issues related to health care, patents, intellectual property, sustainability, job creation and renewable energy. Among developing themes is connected health technology which embraces the latest communications and sensor systems to help improve treatment delivery.”

On the Northern Ireland stand are leading companies including Almac Group, Craigavon, which will also be exhibiting independently, and Randox Laboratories, Crumlin. Smaller companies on the stand include Belfast-based companies Biokinetic, Celerion and i-Path, and also Linnodee Diagnostics of Ballyclare. The region’s research base will also be represented by experts from Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Ulster, C-TRIC (Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre), Londonderry and the Agricultural Food and Biosciences Institute at Hillsborough.

Convention sessions will also focus on healthcare reform, legal and intellectual property and regulatory requirements particularly in the US, the world’s biggest market for biotech and healthcare products and services.