Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has been named the 2009 Governor of the Year by the organization that hosts the annual BIO International Convention, which will be held in Atlanta May 18-21.

“Gov. Perdue’s support of biotechnology has been vital for our industry’s success in Georgia,” Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Washington-based Biotechnology Industry Organization, said in a statement April 23.

Mr. Perdue was praised specifically for implementing the seed capital and facilities funds for the life sciences industry.

According to the statement, the Georgia Bioscience seed fund has been used to support 16 start-up companies over the past two years. The fund assists in the financing of new building and laboratory construction and related needs.

The statement also said that Mr. Perdue has been responsible for allocating $30-40 million annually a year toward strengthening research in the life sciences and other advanced technologies at the state’s universities.

Atlanta-based GeorgiaBio, a membership-based organization that promotes the interests and growth of the life sciences industry, issued a report also on April 23 that includes the first economic impact study of the life sciences industry in Georgia.

The study, titled “2009 Shaping Infinity,” was produced in conjunction with the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

Its key finding, according to the statement, is that one out of every 68 jobs in Georgia owes its existence to the life sciences industry and university research.

The study says that Georgia’s life science industry and research at the state’s universities are responsible for 62,033 jobs, $17.3 billion in annual economic impact and $517 million in tax revenues for state and local governments.

The convention is to feature more than 170 sessions in 22 breakout tracks addressing issues such as health care pricing and access, capital formation and partnering strategies and climate change and biofuels. More than 2,000 exhibitors are expected.

To register for the convention, go to http://convention.bio.org/.