TechConnectWV releases Biotechnology Blueprint for Economic Growth

TechConnectWV, in conjunction with the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, today released its Biotechnology Blueprint, a detailed strategy for growing the bioscience industry in West Virginia. 

“The Biotechnology Blueprint lays out five strategies for growth, and will help guide efforts in the state to develop this important sector of our economy,” said Anne Barth, Executive Director of TechConnectWV.

“Studies show that the best way to create more jobs in any state is to grow them at home, and that’s what TechConnectWV promotes, by connecting researchers with industry and supporting the commercialization of products, services, and technologies in the innovation economy,” she added.

TechConnectWV is a non-profit coalition working to diversify and grow West Virginia’s economy through innovation-based development.  Two years ago, in a comprehensive plan for technology-based development in the state, TechConnectWV identified biotechnology as one of West Virginia’s four key technology platforms—areas where West Virginia has the best chance of developing a robust innovation economy.  Blueprints for two platforms—advanced energy and biometrics—were released by TechConnectWV in 2009.

The Biotechnology Blueprint recommends creating a dedicated entity to promote biotechnology, a role assumed by the newly-formed BioWV.  Barth commended Derek Gregg, chair of BioWV and CEO of a state biotech firm, Vandalia Research, Inc., along with the founding members of BioWV, for taking the lead in acting on this recommendation even before the final report was published.  “They have already organized to increase West Virginia’s profile in biotechnology, both within our own borders and outside the state, which is essential to future growth,” she said.

Other recommendations contained in the Biotechnology Blueprint are continued growth in academic based research, the advancement of biotech clusters by strengthening bonds between research universities and industry, the development of a skilled biotech workforce, and enhanced infrastructure—both physical and programmatic-- to support entrepreneurs.

“The combination of strategies and action items laid out in the Biotechnology Blueprint will help West Virginia best optimize its biotech res
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