Illinois Global Partnership Showcases Leading Biotech Capabilities in Illinois Hosts 'Centers of Excellence' Tour for BIO 2006 International Delegates;

Illinois Ranks Among Top in the Nation for Agriculture, Pharmaceutical

Industries



    CHICAGO, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illinois Global Partnership
 (IGP), the public-private partnership responsible for building the State of
 Illinois as a dynamic center for global business, today will promote
 Illinois' biotech centers of excellence to international delegates of BIO
 2006 by conducting tours of sites including Argonne National Laboratory and
 Illinois Science + Technology Park.
     Illinois ranks among the top states with the largest employment in the
 agriculture and pharmaceutical segments of the biotech industry, according
 to a report released on Monday, "Growing the Nation's Bioscience Sector:
 State Bioscience Initiatives 2006" by research firm Battelle Technology
 Partnership Practice. In addition, Illinois is one of only four states that
 have committed funds to support stem cell research along with California,
 Connecticut and New Jersey.
     The report highlights success factors for a biotech center including
 available physical space, incentives for investment, venture capital,
 identifying and promoting signature research strengths and technology
 commercialization.
     Chicago was featured as an emerging biotech center in a panel
 discussion at BIO 2006 by biotechnology expert David Gulley, assistant vice
 president for technology and economic development, University of Illinois.
 Gulley commented on the state of biotech in the region.
     "Chicago and Illinois are hubs of a large, diversified Midwestern
 biotechnology region," said Gulley. "The diversity of the industry
 encompasses agriculture, industrial and environmental, medical device, and
 pharmaceutical applications. Our world-class universities and private
 sector research provide the technology and talent to move innovations into
 these industries."
     In 2005, Illinois was ranked the top state for biotechnology growth by
 Business Facilities magazine. Illinois boasts:
      -- A scientific research and development investment of $14 billion
         annually;
      -- Five bioscience incubators, including one of the nation's first and
         largest, Chicago Technology Park;
      -- The nation's largest Federal Agriculture Laboratory, and;
      -- A deep talent pool: more than more than 44,000 biotech jobs in
         Illinois and more than 1.2 million people support the growth of life
         science companies.
     Illinois is a leader in commodities, livestock, processors, equipment
 and bio-fuel development. The state is also the home to leading research
 facilities and numerous corporate headquarters for companies that are
 leaders in agri-business. According to a biotech industry report delivered
 by Burrill & Company at BIO 2006, the emergence of ag-bio will continue to
 drive growth, particularly, animal genomics and biotech crops such as
 soybeans and corn which could provide opportunities for Illinois.
     "During BIO 2006, the IGP is launching a unique campaign to encourage
 international business development for Illinois," said Richard Paullin,
 chief operating officer of the IGP. "The IGP-sponsored tours of the state's
 bio-tech centers of excellence will provide the conference's international
 delegates with an in-depth understanding of Illinois' capabilities in the
 important biotech field. These tours are a part of the value-added services
 that the IGP offers to advance international business with Illinois
 companies and institutions."
     Delegates from seven nations are scheduled to join the IGP in this
 initiative to promote international business development. The IGP will
 facilitate tours to Illinois Biotechnology "Centers of Excellence" on
 Thursday, April 13 and Friday, April 14. Delegates from France, Germany,
 Sweden, Belgium, Hungary, South Africa, and Malaysia will have the
 opportunity to visit the facilities and learn from experts in the field of
 biotechnology.
      Bus tours will visit the following facilities:
 
      -- Argonne National Laboratory: Argonne National Laboratory is one of the
         nation's largest federally funded R&D laboratories. Tour highlights
         will include the advance photon source and the structural biology
         center.
      -- Illinois Medical District: The Illinois Medical District is one of the
         world's largest urban medical districts with 560 acres and
         20,000 employees. It includes the Chicago Technology Park, one of the
         nation's first bioscience research parks. A bus tour of the District
         and a walking tour of the Chicago Technology Park have been arranged.
      -- Illinois Science + Technology Park: The campus allows research,
         development, education and commercial activities to occur in close
         proximity, thus allowing for innovative partnerships. Tours are
         offered to the laboratory and conference facilities, the pilot
         manufacturing plant for injectibles and orals, and the vivarium.
      -- Northwestern University: The International Institute for
         Nanotechnology was established as an umbrella organization for the
         $300 million nanotechnology research efforts at Northwestern
         University. Their role is to support nanotechnology research, house
         state-of-the-art nanomaterials characterization facilities, and focus
         individual and group efforts to address and solve key problems in
         nanotechnology. Tours will include an overview and visits to the labs
         with demonstrations.
      -- Northwestern Memorial Hospital: Northwestern Memorial is an
         international model for the delivery of quality and compassionate
         healthcare. The tour will highlight the hospital's background and
         redevelopment plan, and may include a visit to a patient room and
         automated labs.
      -- University of Chicago:  More than 70 Nobel Prize winners have been
         associated with the University of Chicago, six of whom are currently
         on the faculty.  In medicine, Chicago has been the home for numerous
         "firsts" including organ transplant, identification of insulin
         producing beta cells, successful chemotherapy and the link between
         hormones and cancer, synthesis of proinsulin, the isolation of
         erythropoietin and the technology behind interpretive radiography.
      -- University of Illinois at Chicago: A center of excellence in imaging,
         the tour will highlight information on functional imaging on the
         3Tesla and a tour of the 9.4Tesla control room.
     In addition to the tours, the IGP hosted a pre-show welcome reception
 for more than 100 international BIO 2006 conferees on Saturday, April 8 at
 the University Club who heard from representatives of leading biotech
 corporations, academic and research facilities. Representatives from Abbott
 Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois Institute of
 Technology, Illinois Medical District, Illinois Science + Technology Park,
 Northwestern University, University of Chicago and University of Illinois
 discussed research expertise and facility expansion projects to accommodate
 growth.
     About The Illinois Global Partnership
     The Illinois Global Partnership focuses private and public resources to
 build collaborative international partnerships. It is a people-to-people
 organization working with international, federal, state, and local groups
 to boost international trade and raise Illinois' profile as a global center
 of commerce. Established in August 2005, the IGP is a not-for-profit
 organization with headquarters in Chicago and offices in Springfield, Ill.,
 Hong Kong and Mexico City. For more information, please visit
 http://www.illinoisglobal.org .
 
 

SOURCE Illinois Global Partnership

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