SHANGHAI, CHINA – During his economic and business trade mission throughout China, Governor Pat Quinn today announced the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), an Illinois-based association that represents leading research universities and technology companies, iBIO, an Illinois-based life sciences industry association, and China-based Shanghai Bio Pharmaceutics Association (SBIA) to increase economic opportunities for both regions in the bio-technology field.
“Illinois and China are each leading global sources for biotechnology, life sciences and medical innovation,” Governor Quinn said. “This agreement provides a framework for Illinois and China to enhance business and education partnerships and collaborate on the scientific breakthroughs that will accelerate company growth and foster the creation of jobs.”
The agreement, which was signed during a breakfast ceremony in Shanghai today, will create an important line of communication between the organizations, allow for collaboration among researchers and industry, and open the lines of communication amongst technology parks to increase exports and investment.
As the home of more than 200 institutions of higher education, as well as several prestigious national labs, the state of Illinois is uniquely positioned as a Midwestern and national leader in science and technology research and development. In Illinois, academic research expenditures in the biosciences totaled $1.3 billion in 2008, according to the Battelle Memorial Institute. Illinois has 58,000 workers directly employed in the biosciences sector at more than 2,000 biotech establishments (with an average wage of nearly $90,000). Indirectly, this sector supports more than 330,000 Illinois jobs. Six of the top 20 pharma and life sciences firms also have their North American HQ’s headquarters in Illinois.
“Collaboration and partnership strengthen our ability to tackle tough scientific and technological problems,” said ISTC President Matthew Summy. “We look forward to working with the SBIA to identify and produce solutions that not only offer the potential to improve medical treatment, but also offer the promise of increased investment and new jobs.”
The mission of the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition is to cultivate economic development in Illinois by working with public and private partners to attract and retain research, development and innovation resources and talent to the state.
SBIA is a non-profit organization that represents biopharmaceutical companies and research institutions in Shanghai by participating in policy-making and creating industry networks to improve the competitiveness of the bio-pharmaceutical industry. With six bio-pharmaceutics parks, Shanghai has become one of the main platforms for bio-tech innovation and development in the world.
The mission of iBio is to make Illinois and the surrounding Midwest one of the world’s top life sciences centers, a great place to do business and grow new technology ventures. The national BIO organization selected Governor Quinn as the 2011 BIO "Governor of the Year" at the recent BIO International Convention in Washington D.C.
For updates on Governor Quinn’s trip, visit www.Illinois.gov or follow him on Twitter at @GovernorQuinn. More information about Illinois trade and business opportunities can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website at http://www.illinoisbiz.biz.
© Illinois Science and Technology Coalition
Illustration by Dieter Braun