May 06, 2008 00:03 ET

Global Health, Sustainable Agriculture and International Business Issues Focus of 2008 BIO International Convention

The "Global Event for Biotechnology" Will Draw International Biotech Leaders to Share Insights and Explore Opportunities to Help Heal, Fuel and Feed the World

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - May 6, 2008) - Global issues such as intellectual property protections, follow-on biologics/biosimilars, international networking for research and development of neglected diseases and sustainable agriculture in developing countries will all be primary focus areas of the 2008 BIO International Convention.

Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the 2008 BIO International Convention will take place Tuesday, June 17 through Friday, June 20, 2008 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. Wednesday, June 18th is International Day, which will feature the international marketplace reception; a "Think & Drink" discussion forum on the global landscape for innovation, economics and policy; among other activities.

Biotechnology leaders from around the globe will be descending upon San Diego, one of the leading biotech hubs in the world, to discuss the most pressing issues and share their unique perspectives. In addition, there will be a total of 36 regional and country pavilions within the BIO Exhibition with several new pavilions, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Dubai, and South Africa.

This year's convention will focus on the promise of biotech innovation to heal, fuel and feed the world. International case studies on biofuels, biomanufacturing, research funding, and international collaborations will focus on examples from Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, North America, Singapore, and Sweden. Two additional breakout session tracks will focus on doing business globally and global health. A Super Session entitled, "The Dynamics of a Globalized World and the Future of the Biotechnology Industry," will feature several international public officials sharing insights on the evolving business landscape. Keynote speakers will capture the importance of innovation and leadership to the overall industry.

This year's keynote speakers include:

Gen. Colin Powell will discuss leadership, drawing from his experience as both an international leader and as eyewitness to leadership in action to illustrate what it takes to be a leader in industry.

J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., will highlight the ways in which his early successes in genomics are now being used to lead the way toward breakthroughs in advanced biofuels through his cutting edge use of tools and techniques in synthetic genomic research in his presentation entitled, "From Reading to Writing the Genetic Code." In 1998, Dr. Venter founded Celera Genomics to sequence the human genome, using the whole-genome shotgun technique, new mathematical algorithms, and automated DNA-sequencing machines. The successful completion of this research culminated in the publication of the human genome in February 2001.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will discuss the importance of innovation to the biotech industry.

Additionally, numerous international public officials are expected to attend, including José Lino Salvador Barañao, Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Argentina; Ewa Bjorling, Minister of Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden; Suwit Khunkitti, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Chairman of the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum, Thailand; and Kapil Sibal, Minister of Science and Technology, India.

Since 2006, the international attendance has grown by more than 24% and now makes up more than 30% of the audience. The 2007 BIO International Convention in Boston saw double-digit percentage growth from Spain, Malaysia, Canada, German, India, and the United Kingdom. In 2008, more growth is expected from Asia and Latin America.

For more information on the 2008 BIO International Convention and its program, visit

Registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the media. To register, visit Reporters and editors working full-time for print, broadcast, and online news organizations may register onsite with valid credentials. All freelancers, college and online publications are strongly encouraged to register in advance by Wednesday, June 4, 2008.

Registration for attendees is offered at an early-bird discounted rate of nearly 40 percent off the regular rate until May 8, 2008. Online registration is open at

The BIO International Convention helps to support BIO programs and initiatives. BIO works throughout the year to create a policy environment that enables the industry to continue to fulfill its vision of bettering the world through biotechnology innovation. For more information on the global event for biotechnology, including program and housing information, please visit Also, be sure to check out our blog, for up to date information on all BIO events.

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world's largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.

Upcoming BIO Events

World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing
April 27-30, 2008
Chicago, Ill.

2008 BIO International Convention
June 17-20, 2008
San Diego, Calif.

Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
Sept. 10-12, 2008
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Contact Information