Northern Ireland biotech on show in Atlanta

Sophisticated technology being pioneered by Northern Ireland research teams will be on show at BIO 2009, the world’s biggest biotechnology and life sciences event, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from 18-21 May.

Expertise from local companies and university researchers will feature in the Invest Northern Ireland pavilion at this important international technology event.

The Northern Ireland group will be among 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.

On show will be the latest research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial, and environmental biotechnology products.

Taking part in the Northern Ireland pavilion will be a total of twelve companies and research leaders from university institutes and other centres of excellence, including recently launched C-TRIC in Londonderry and HSC Innovations in Belfast.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s Trade Director, commenting on Northern Ireland’s participation at the Atlanta event, said: “Our regular participation at BIO events throughout the US has helped to establish Northern Ireland as an important European centre of excellence in life sciences and has enabled our research teams to make important contacts for both business and technology transfer.

“Life sciences, of course, is a target sector for Northern Ireland, and it’s an industry in which we have a strong track record of innovation.

“Over the years, we’ve been able to organise strong presentations at an event which is the largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with the most important industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. Our delegation at Atlanta will again feature many of our leading biotech companies and world class research institutions.

“More than 20,000 people from across the globe will be in Atlanta for the exhibition and associated convention, the focus of which will be on the many ways the biotechnology and life science industries can work together to help heal, fuel, and feed the world,” added Dr Kell.

Among the international companies taking part in the event are entrepreneurial businesses developing a first product to Fortune 100 multinationals.

However, the majority of those participating are small companies by US standards. BIO also represents academic centres, state and regional biotech associations and service providers to the industry, including financial and consulting firms.