The Advisory Committee for Biotechnology in the Triad unveiled 21 recommendations for growing the region’s biotech sector on Thursday night at a reception.

“A statewide plan for biotechnology is in effect, and now a strong plan has taken shape that is tailored to the Piedmont Triad region’s needs and effort,” said Russ Read, vice chair of the advisory committee. He also is executive director for the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce at Forsyth Technical Community College. “As a part of the larger concerted effort, this is a most significant accomplishment for the region and for the continuing effort of biotechnology economic promotion for all of North Carolina.”

The committee’s recommendations are designed to compliment an overall strategic plan for growing the entire state’s biotech industry as supported by Gov. Mike Easley.

“New Jobs Across North Carolina: A Strategic Plan for growing the Economy Statewide Through Biotechnology” outlines 54 strategies for creation of 125,000 jobs, workforce training and improved education, with 48,000 jobs to be generated by 2013. The $390 million plan was presented to the North Carolina General Assembly in January.

The Triad recommendations, one of which was to host the ‘Biotech Night’ dinner, are:

  • Creating a regional directory of goods manufactured by local biotechnology companies

  • Building a database of available wet lab space

  • Forming a legislative team to monitor the Triad’s biotechnology priorities

  • Collecting economic and academic data from primary and secondary data sources

  • Hosting a reception dinner to showcase the Triad’s biotechnology community

  • Partnering with the Council of Entrepreneurial Development to host Biotech 2006

  • Developing national and regional public relations and advertising campaigns extolling the virtues of the Triad’s biotechnology community

  • Marketing agricultural biotechnology

  • Creating intellectual exchange groups based on scientific topics

  • Operating databases of university research and intellectual property assets

  • Providing more interaction between the Triad’s universities and industry members

  • Developing innovative training and career program

  • Creating a Translational Research Center for the central nervous system and behavioral sciences

  • Promoting community college programs and develop new ones based on industry feedback

  • Determining recruiting needs and the alliances needed to bring renowned researchers to the Triad

  • Creating financial packages to support recruitment efforts

  • Forming a welcoming committee for new clients

  • Providing affordable, short-term office/lab space by creating a “wet-lab hotel”

  • Creating low-cost office space for foreign countries to place a regional liaison

  • Forming a team with local partners to recruit contract manufacturing companies

  • Attracting entrepreneurs to develop businesses around the region’s Centers of Excellence like the Institute for Regenerative Medicine
  • The committee plans to create six project teams to begin implementing the recommendations.

    And the Winners Are …

    Also at the dinner, the Piedmont Triad group handed out five awards. They were:

  • Research and Development Excellence: Anthony Atala, M.D., director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and chair, Department of Urology, Wake Forest University Health Sciences

  • Entrepreneurial Excellence: Roland Johnson, president and CEO Piedmont Pharmaceuticals

  • Academic Development Excellence: Gary Green, Ed.D., president, and Lucas Shallua, biotechnology program coordinator, Forsyth Technical Community College

  • Piedmont Biotechnology Community Leadership Excellence: Gwyn Riddick, director, Piedmont Triad Office, North Carolina Biotechnology Center

  • Biotechnology Service and Support Excellence: Bill Dean, president, !dealliance