The 2009 BIO International Convention brought eight U.S. governors and 90 public officials from 18 countries and the European Union to Atlanta.

Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the annual conference was held May 18-21 at the Georgia World Congress Center.  It is the premier worldwide convention for the biotechnology industry.

Canada had the largest contingent of high-level officials, according to a BIO news release.  Provincial premiers (equivalent to state governors) from Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec were set to visit Atlanta, as was Canada’s minister of industry.

Panama sent its minister and secretary of science, technology and innovation.

Five countries – Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary and New Zealand – sent their ambassadors.

“We have seen an increased level of international participation for this year’s event, including first-time attendance for public officials from Brazil, Czech Republic, Israel, Spain and Poland, who also has a pavilion for the first time this year,” said Robbi Lycett, vice president for conventions and conferences at BIO.

The conference usually draws attendees from about 60 countries and 48 states. This year the event hosted 1,800 exhibitors and 14,352 attendees.

For more internationally focused BIO coverage, visit

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...