Mr. Craig reviews the four years of preparation leading up to the Bio International Convention.

Georgia will benefit from hosting the BIO International Convention May 18-21 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta for years to come, according to Charles Craig, president of Georgia-Bio, the membership organization that promotes the state’s life sciences industry.

The annual convention is a global event drawing industry professionals seeking financing, partnerships, economic development and recognition.

Yet while the short-term legacy of the event may be linked to the deal making, the long-term benefits for Georgia are more apt to be related to a raised awareness of its resources and its commitment to the development of the industry.

According to Mr. Craig, the greatest legacy, however, will be the importance of the conference as a means of educating the greater public, members of the General Assembly and the state’s executive branch of the industry’s potential.

The implementation of a statewide educational program, which will provide a foundation for the industry in the future, is to begin in the fall, he said.

From kindergarten to the highest reaches of university study, Georgia students are to prepare for careers in the life sciences. High school students will be taking the first courses devoted to building skills for life science qualifications in the next school year.

Mr. Craig has been preparing for this convention for four years, working with state officials, local economic developers, university administrators, educators and company representatives.

“When the world comes to Georgia, the world is going to see that biotech is applied broadly across the major industry sectors in the state,” he said.

Georgia’s research universities, he also said, will be at the forefront of the state’s growing reputation as a life science hub.

And the state’s agricultural and forestry resources, its commitment to developing new fuel alternatives and the growing number of small companies devoted to research will be highlighted in addition to the presence of large pharmaceutical companies.

GlobalAtlanta’s coverage of the convention may be seen at