It will be hard to miss the state’s presence at Bio International with its two-story, 30’ x 50’ NJ Pavilion (booth #4217) located near the entrances of the Pennsylvania Convention Center’s main exhibit floor. It is the largest presence the state has ever had at a BIO conference (last year’s event was held in San Diego). On hand will be Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and the members of the New Jersey Partnership or Action (PFA), the four-pronged entity that is in charge of economic development in the state, plus representatives of the state’s life sciences trade associations and institutions of higher education.
Michele Brown and her staff at Choose New Jersey (part of the PFA team) are currently in the midst planning event happenings. The recently named CEO of the state’s economic development marketing arm, and former head of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, says the main message to the slew of global biotech companies at the event is, “If you are a company looking to establish a business in the US, New Jersey is the logical place to be.
“First and foremost, the state has the best talent pool in the country, with more than 100,000 people (direct and indirect jobs) employed in the life sciences sector,” Brown says. “You have the right brains to run your business right here in New Jersey. Not only do we have one of the most highly ranked K-12 educational systems in the country, we have the No. 1 ranked University in the world (Princeton) and a full series of higher education institutions that are outstanding.
“Besides that, the state has the ancillary businesses that biotechs need, such as the right law, accounting and marketing firms … all of which understand the growing biotech sector in the state.”
Brown doesn’t stop there in discussing New Jersey’s positive business aspects for high-tech companies. She mentions proximity to Manhattan and Philadelphia and mass transportation systems.
“I was speaking with a senior executive from a pharmaceutical company recently, and he said one of the best things about being in New Jersey is that he is just 20 minutes away from Newark Liberty International Airport, so he can quickly get to anywhere he needs to go in the world.”
At BIO International, up to a dozen larger New Jersey-based companies will have their own booths. Smaller companies will be using amenities at the NJ Pavilion, such as pods or stations to set up meetings and display their products and services. The BIO Innovation Theater, located on the first floor of the two-story pavilion, will house a stage and screen and feature a series of panels and presentations by some of the life sciences industry’s top New Jersey executives such as: John Crowley, CEO of Amicus Therapeutics; Robert K. Prud’homme, professesor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University; Dr. Kenneth Blank, senior vice president of health sciences at Rowan University; and Dr. Fred Russell Kramer, associate director, business development at the Public Health Research Institute at Rutgers University. The second floor will offer an area where executives can hold media interviews.
On the weekend prior to the event, as visitors arrive, Choose New Jersey will be hosting tours into the Garden State. Southern New Jersey destinations will include the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University, with its showpiece Virtual Reality Lab. In Central New Jersey, tours will be taken of Rutgers University (New Brunswick), and its RUCDR Infinite Biologics, the world’s largest university-based biorepository.
Lt. Governor Guadagno will be present not only at the NJ Pavilion, but she will be the host at an evening Prospect Dinner on Tuesday night, June 16.
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