MichBio Expo Comes To GR

October 6, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — Some 500 life sciences professionals from across the state will gather in Grand Rapids this week for the three-day MichBio Expo, which kicks off tomorrow.

The second annual MichBio runs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, the latter two days at DeVos Place convention center. It's an educational and business networking event that includes panel discussions on recent developments in the drug, medical device and diagnostic fields, presentations by life sciences experts and an industry exhibition.

Planned for the first day of the event is the MichBio Life Science Student Career Day, an invitation-only affair for top high school students interested in careers in science. Grand Valley State University and the Van Andel Institute will host career day. Students will visit both the Van Andel Institute and the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, where they'll have the opportunity to interact with professionals in the field and discuss career options and industry issues.

On the second day, there will be guided tours of the area's top life sciences facilities, with morning tours in Kalamazoo and afternoon tours in Grand Rapids. There will also be a symposium at DeVos Place led by MichBio service providers in the areas of law, insurance, marketing and facilities.

The third day will feature the MichBio life sciences conference, with speakers in the biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical industries discussing the latest developments in drugs, diagnostics and medical devices.

Also planned is an industry exposition showcasing more than 50 of the area's life sciences leaders in research, finance, government and business. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with business development and procurement executives that represent industry leaders in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Participating companies will include Abbott Laboratories, Ash Stevens, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly and Co., Johnson & Johnson's Corporate Office of Science and Technology, Medtronic Inc., QuatRx, Pfizer Legal, Pfizer Procurement and Pfizer Strategic Alliances, Stryker Corp. and Terumo.

New to the event this year is the Life Sciences Launchpad Competition, a business plan competition for early-stage life sciences companies in Michigan. Companies that pre-applied for the competition will vie for a top prize of more than $15,000. On Wednesday a panel of judges will select six semifinalists, and each will have to make a five-minute presentation at the expo before the judges decide the winner.    

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