March 07, 2011 10:08 ET

MichBio Releases Biosciences Action Plan to Help Spur Michigan's Bio-Industry Growth

ANN ARBOR, MI--(Marketwire - March 7, 2011) - MichBio, the association for Michigan's bioscience industry, has released "The Future of the Biosciences Industry in Michigan - A Beginning Action Plan to Strengthen Industry Assets, Resources, Talent and Opportunities." The document was presented by Stephen Rapundalo, PhD, MichBio president and CEO, at the year's first quarterly meeting of the Michigan Biosciences Legislative Caucus (BLC) on March 1.

"The Action Plan is meant to be a beginning step in developing policies and legislative initiatives that will serve to support the growth of our industry and to propel Michigan into the upper tier of states and countries recognized for their strength in the sector," commented Rapundalo. "The Action Plan was distilled largely from testimony provided by the state's bio-industry at hearings in late 2009-summer 2010 before the Michigan House Subcommittee on Biosciences, along with input from various MichBio-hosted policy roundtables where our bioscience company executives offered their perspectives on opportunities and challenges facing our industry."

The BLC, meeting at the Capitol in Lansing also unveiled its new leadership roster -- Sen. Rebekah Warren (a founding co-chair, D-Ann Arbor), Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Kalamazoo), Rep. Gail Haines (R-Waterford) and Rep. Roy Schmidt (D-Grand Rapids). Both Sen. Warren and Rep. Haines opened the BLC meeting by describing the history behind the Caucus' formation and purpose, and the importance of the industry to Michigan's economy. 

Approximately, 20 legislators attended the event along with representatives from MichBio's member companies. 

"Educating state legislators and meeting with them face-to-face is critically important if we want to build upon the biosciences industry foundation here in Michigan," said Rapundalo. "This is especially true in a year with a new governor and a large contingent of freshmen legislators. The more Lansing knows about our industry, the more prepared they will be to formulate policy and legislative decisions that help grow the sector and rebound the state's economy."

The BLC was formed in November 2007 as a bipartisan, bicameral body for legislators committed to supporting the growth and success of the state's biosciences industry. "The BLC recognizes communication, outreach and education as the tools to promote, discuss and formulate potential legislative initiatives in a balanced and factual manner. It understands that working in partnership with the bioscience community can positively impact policies and programs to help make Michigan a leader in this high-growth sector," Rapundalo explained.

Future BLC meetings in 2011 are planned for May, September and December with agenda topics yet to be determined.

MichBio is the biosciences industry trade association and the official Michigan affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, BIO, which represents biotechnology companies across America and in 33 other nations. MichBio also works closely with other national organizations including AdvaMed, Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), PhRMA, GPhMA, HDMA. Formed in 1993 as the Michigan Biosciences Industry Association, MichBio is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and represents the more than 500 bioscience-related companies in the state. 

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