As an emerging bioscience hub, the South needs to raise its profile worldwide through partnerships with international corporations and organizations, said C. Russell Allen, former vice president of biosciences at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, who has assumed the role of president and CEO of BioSouth Inc.
BioSouth is an organization that promotes trade and commercial opportunities for medical device, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, drug discovery, drug delivery, agricultural-bio, clinical research and biomanufacturing companies through conferences and educational programs. It serves as a liaison between member states in the southern United States and the international community.
“Although the southern U.S. represents one of the largest concentrations of bioscience companies and institutes in the country, our reach to the global marketplace is often limited. Partly because our geography is so large, many international companies have not yet recognized the South as a leading bioscience region, compared to other areas like Boston, San Francisco and San Diego,” Mr. Allen told GlobalAtlanta.
“In order to succeed in the bioscience marketplace, partnerships and alliances with scientists throughout the world are critical,” he said. To this end, BioSouth hosted the first BioFusion conference in April, held in Atlanta along with the 2nd Annual CDC Technology Symposium. The event was produced with the assistance of British, Canadian, German and Israeli delegations. “We plan to immediately expand this partnership to other countries seeking access to the research and products in the South,” Mr. Allen said. BioSouth has also developed an on-line portal called BioGateway (www.biofusion.org/biogateway.html) that provides links to Georgia bioscience resources and those in other southern states. Atlanta and Georgia and other cities and states in the South are also individually emerging as bioscience hubs, Mr. Allen observed, noting that North Carolina is already well-established as one of the top three bioscience states in the country. Georgia is ranked eighth, with some 200 bioscience companies headquartered here and strong research universities and institutions including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he said. Mr. Allen added that BioSouth’s efforts to support the sciences and enhance partnerships among state, private and academic institutions and businesses in the South will “naturally boost the economic development efforts of the entire region.” Mr. Allen was vice president of biosciences at the Metro Atlanta chamber for the past three years, where he was charged with growing the bioscience industry in metro Atlanta through marketing and advocacy efforts. His team developed a regional industry marketing campaign, an industry review, an annual Georgia bioscience company directory and several trade shows. His efforts also attracted the BIO 2009 conference to Atlanta, created the Georgia SEED entrepreneurial training program for bioscience professionals and included lobbying for state legislative support for the industry. The chamber is currently searching for a replacement for Mr. Allen. He continues to assist the chamber during the transition as well as with the search for a new vice president of biosciences. Contact Mr. Allen at (404) 759-9533 or email@example.com or visit www.biosouth.org for more information.