Productive trip for life sciences…

From Chris Rivera – WBBA

We are winding down our trade mission in France and Germany today. It has been an extremely productive trip, and I am confident will lead to many new and ongoing collaborations with many of our Member organizations. We started in Toulouse, meeting with one of France’s biotech clusters that is in formation, the Cancer Bio Health Center, as well as with Pierre Fabre, a privately held pharmaceutical company. The response to our delegation was very welcoming, but the response from everyone that I meet outside of our great state was the same; “wow, we had no idea that Washington was so innovative and was home to so many world-class research organizations and companies.” There is great interest in beginning communications and learning more.

From Toulouse, to Paris. What a beautiful city! I spent nearly a year earlier in my career negotiating a licensing deal with Ipsen, a Paris based BioPharma company, so many memories were stirred. I also had a chance to go the to the Air Show, what a treat! Great meetings with the Paris bio-cluster, Cancer pole. The Governor joined us at Saint Louis Hospital, a 400 year old hospital. The conversation was very, very productive, again a similar response to our overview of life sciences in Washington, but once this impressive group realized the types of world class oncology research, development and commercialization organizations we have, we hope to facilitate some long-standing relationships that help patients with cancer, globally!

Yesterday was a very special day. Not because we had to get up at 4am to catch our flight from Paris to Hanover, Germany, but I turned 50 years old. We had a wonderful day with the BioRegioN, Hanover’s organization, similar to the WBBA. Our hosts we wonderful, we also signed an MOU with BioRegioN to help facilitate collaborations. A private lunch with the Governor and Prime Minister was quite enjoyable, and a meeting with NGlobal, Lower Saxony’s economic development organization led to an agreement by NGlobal to bring a multi-industry delegation to Seattle next year, anchored by our conference, Life Science Innovation Northwest.

A bus ride to Hamburg, allowed many of us to get a quick power nap in, so we could be fresh for a reception at the US Consulate in Hamburg.

Today, should also prove productive. I am off to meet with Norgenta, the WBBA of Hamburg state, and then some meetings on renewable energy before we head back to the state’s tomorrow, where I am off to BIO, and another very productive week telling people about our state’s great life science sector! I have a great job!!!

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