On Wednesday, May 16, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh President joined BIO President and CEO, Jim Greenwood, government officials and biotech leaders in BIO 2018’s host city of Boston for a press conference.
“It’s been six years since BIO held our Convention here in Boston, but we had to come back for our silver anniversary,” said Greenwood.
The 2018 BIO International Convention will reflect on 25 years of history-making breakthroughs – in medical technologies, treatments and solutions to the world’s toughest health challenges – and will look ahead to the next 25 years and the cutting-edge innovations expected to propel the biotech industry, and world, forward.
The Convention will also highlight Boston’s local biotechnology start-up scene, provide tours of the “Life Sciences Corridor,” and spotlight important issues such as the opioid crisis and patient care, which are top priorities in Mayor Walsh’s administration. Additionally, BIO 2018 is expected to generate more than $33 million for the Boston economy over a one-week period.
The inaugural Henri A. Termeer Biotechnology Visionary Award was also announced and will be given during the Convention. A former Genzyme CEO, Termeer was a key figure in helping transform Boston into a hub of life sciences research, development and innovation. It was incredibly fitting to announce the new award in the city he helped evolve.
Support from Boston Leaders
Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh helped Greenwood kick off the conference, expressing his excitement for the Convention to return to Boston. Recently re-elected for his second term as mayor, he has played a key role in helping build up the local biotech scene. One of the major reasons for his enthusiastic support? Mayor Walsh has a personal connection to the life sciences industry—due to the extraordinary work of the Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, he survived a four-year fight with Burkitt’s lymphoma as a child. His experience has since led him to become a great advocate for the biotech industry—especially at the local level.
Echoing the Mayor’s sentiments of local government support, the Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Jay Ash, also spoke at the press conference. Secretary Ash has been a strong advocate for investing in biomedical innovation and has helped cultivate an impressive STEM workforce in the state. Specifically, he described how the biotech industry is a major driver of not just the Boston economy, but also the Massachusetts economy as a whole.
Massachusetts’ Biotech Economic Data and Job Trends
According to a new report from the MassBio Education Foundation (MassBioEd), over the past four years, the life sciences industry in Massachusetts has grown at double the rate of the state and U.S. economy. The report, which was released at Wednesday’s press conference, further indicated that the industry reached another major milestone—exceeding 70,000 life sciences employees in Massachusetts. And that growth isn’t expected to slow—MassBioEd projects that nearly 12,000 new jobs will be created over the next five years.
With those strong projections, it’s clear that the BIO International Convention is bound to make an impact this summer in Boston and reap the rewards of convening in such a robust biotech hub. Mayor Walsh may have summed it up best when he said on Wednesday, “We know when we work together, we can get things done together.”
Looking forward to more updates on the Convention? Keep following the posts here on the blog and sign up for news updates: www.convention.bio.org/signup