2012 BIO International Convention: Exploring Massachusetts

By Bob Coughlin, President & CEO, MassBio

Of course the 2012 BIO International Convention will be a great chance to connect, partner, network and learn. And convention-goers will have the chance to check out Boston’s Innovation District, which surrounds the Convention Center. But why not take some time while you’re in the Boston area to explore the biotech clusters outside metro Boston? There’s something for everyone here in Massachusetts!

Head North of the City…

The North Shore area, including Beverly and Woburn, have a strong bio-pharma presence and one of the most concentrated precision instrumentation clusters in the world.  The region includes great infrastructure, outstanding universities, as well as a high quality of life, from the seaport communities of Salem and Gloucester to the rejuvenated mill towns of Lowell and Lawrence.

Tourist Tip: Explore the rocky coastlines and seashore for beach lounging, whale watching, or fishing or stop by Salem (where the historic witch trials took place) and swing by the Peabody Essex Museum, a renowned museum of international art and culture, and have lunch outside in the Garden Restaurant.

Or Head South…

The South Shore, Cape Cod, and South Coast of southeastern Massachusetts have a rich tradition of precision manufacturing in the region. The century-old jewelry industry spurred the modern growth of high-tech manufacturing here – especially medical devices.

Tourist Tip: The South Shore also offers a beautiful coastline, beaches, and maritime activities– while you’re here check out Battleship Cove, the world’s largest collection of historic naval ships or visit Plimoth Plantation and hop aboard Plimoth Plantation’s full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower, Mayflower II, to learn about the 1620 voyage and 17th-century maritime travel.

Or start heading West to Central Massachusetts – Worcester Area

The central region of Massachusetts offers life science companies an outstanding workforce, a strong concentration of colleges and universities, lower cost R&D, manufacturing, and incubator space, as well as a recognized regional commitment of support to the biotechnology industry. The region continues to grow its own life science industry, while attracting new companies, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, which recently built a $1 billion manufacturing facility at Devens.

Tourist Tip:  Once you go West of Boston, there’s a little more space to roam. Spend some time outdoors picking strawberries at Tougas Family Farm in Northborough (come back for apple- and pumpkin-picking) or visit Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, the largest zoo in New England.

Keep going West to Western Massachusetts…

The Western Region enjoys the benefit of being at the “crossroads of New England” and offers the lowest business and development costs in the state. Western Massachusetts is part of the “Knowledge Corridor,” extending from Hartford, CT in the south to the flagship University of Massachusetts at Amherst campus. This area also has a high concentration in precision manufacturing industries that complement life sciences.

Tourist Tip: Known for its mountains and outdoor activities (come back for leaf-peeping and ski season), there’s plenty to do outdoors in Western Mass. For something a little different in this area, check out the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, which honors the birthplace of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) with full–scale bronze sculptures of Dr. Seuss’s characters. This Sculpture garden is part of the Springfield Museums group where you can see five museums at one admission price.

Or, if NBA playoffs have put you in the Basketball mood, be sure to visit the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, also in Springfield. (Go Celtics!)

We look forward to welcoming you to Boston in just a few short weeks! Don’t forget to enjoy some “lobstah” and clam “chowdah” while you’re here!

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