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Michigan Touts Biotech
GRAND RAPIDS — Twenty-three Michigan companies and institutions showcased the state’s bio savvy at the BIO 2005 International Convention last week in Philadelphia.
More than 18,000 biotech entrepreneurs, investors, scientists and economic development officials from more than 60 countries attended the June 19-22 convention, which is considered the “premier” event in the life sciences industry.
MEDC representatives were there to distribute information and talk with companies that might be interested in locating in
In a phone interview from the convention floor on Tuesday, Tino Breithaupt, vice president of the Michigan Technology Tri Corridor, said the
“We actually just got done talking to a company out of
“Over the last six years since we’ve had the Life Sciences Corridor and Technology Tri Corridor program people know now that we’re in this business for real and we’re serious about it.”
A number of investment bankers and venture capitalists stopped by the
“There are companies that have been here now for the second, third or fourth year in a row because this show has paid off for them in previous years,” Breithaupt noted. “One of them is Kalexsyn from
Ryan Hayes, of Mount Pleasant-based Dendritic NanoTechnologies, attended the convention to spread the word about his company and gain some more exposure for biotech in
“We’re not looking for investors, we’re looking for partnerships and exposure,” Hayes said. “I’ve been trying to have some meetings with other companies and other business developers. We’re not cutting any deals or anything, we’re just kind of doing some exploratory discussions with other companies.”
Dendritic NanoTechnologies has been named “a startup nanotech company to watch” by both The Economist and Red Herring. The company finalized an agreement with Dow Chemical earlier this year to become one of the world’s leading providers of market-validated nanotechnology with near-term commercial applications.
Jim Vrbanac, a research scientist with PharmOptima LLC of Kalamazoo, felt the
“We’re here primarily to find partners to work with and to look for contract business with other companies,” Vrbanac said. “We’ve done quite a bit of contract work already, covering the entire gamut from very large pharmaceutical companies to very small companies and everything in between.”
The week before the convention, Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced 24 university and private sector award winners that will share $27.3 million in Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor funding for life sciences research and commercialization.
According to the governor’s office, technology transfer from research and development at
Granholm’s 2006 fiscal budget proposes a Jobs for Michigan Fund financed by a $2 billion bond initiative. The money would fund the development of technologies in life sciences, alternative energies, advanced automotive material and manufacturing, and homeland security.
“The Jobs for Michigan Fund would replace the Technology Tri-Corridor funding mechanism,” said Jeff Mason, MEDC’s senior vice president of technology development. “The $2 billion proposal of the governor would provide up to $200 million each year for competitive edge technology investments, including life sciences activities.”