IN THE KNOW: OCTOBER, 2019
On October 10, all roads led to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Just before 100 or so of us were within walking distance of the Balloon Museum, we steered our modern day horse drawn vehicles to take a sharp left off Eagle Road into the parking lot of the CNM Ingenuity Center for NMBio’s annual Knowledge Fair & Expo. Even though we weren’t going to see the spectacular Mass Ascension, we were excited to be bringing industry leaders together to learn and inspire each other as well as to hear presentations from eight leaders of bioscience startups on the verge of breakout success discuss their scientific advancements.
As a group, we often talk a lot about the power of shared experiences. We know that these experiences and networking opportunities are critical to building our bioscience community and creating a sense of belonging for our members. Despite heavy traffic and competition for eyeballs from the world’s leading balloon festival, this year’s event attracted more than 100 attendees, including 18 exhibitors and more than 20 speakers and panelists.
As you know, everyone likes to play to a full house. Year by year, we’re getting closer to filling every seat thanks to our interesting and knowledgeable speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and you, the attendees. This year, we owe a special thank you to CNM Ingenuity Center’s Kyle Lee, who provided our conference room gratis as well as a tip of my BIO 2019 hat to our four major sponsors: the Biotechnology innovation Organization (BIO), VWR, US Bank and Econsult Solutions (the link to our post event brochure showcases and recognizes all our sponsors, speakers and exhibitors as well as our co-hosts, CNM, NMSBA and the CNM Ingenuity Center. I also want to offer a special thank you to Richard Prince, our keynote speaker, who jetted to NM from his home and business in NJ. LINK to Brochure
Before I close the books on our third Knowledge Fair, I would like to invite you to send me a note with what you liked, didn’t like and what you would like the Board of Directors and I to do to improve next year’s event. I will collect and share your comments with the board. Keep in mind. the Knowledge Fair is just one of your pathways to connections, friendships, and personal/professional growth as a member of NMBio. Our mission it to help innovators like you make the strategic connections you need to succeed as well as save you substantial dollars by participating in the BIO Business Solutions program. https://bbs.bio.org/programs.
With January 1, 2020 quickly approaching, we’ll start to turn our attention to the NM’s legislative session and proposals that can impact our industry and the health care that’s provided to NM’s residents. In addition, we need to pay attention to the bills that Congress is discussing and considering for implementation. This is a criticall time for the association and you to inform public officials and help them understand how the broad economic or regulatory policies passed Congress as well as in NM can affect investment in the novel therapies, cures and technologies our member companies are seeking to develop.
As James C. Greenwood, President and CEO of BIO has said on many occasions, our nation needs the proper balance between incentivizing innovation and lowering health care costs for patients.
Speaking of Jim, he’ll be retiring from BIO after a successor is found and he has some time to mentor his replacement. I first met Jim, a former Pennsylvania Congressman, when we, along with the governors from DE, NJ and PA, cut the ceremonial ribbon to open BIO’s 2005 convention in Philadelphia – a convention that drew more than 18,000 participants. Since then, Jim has been the chief spokesman, cheerleader and lobbyist for the biotech industry and, by all accounts, has done exemplary work on behalf of the bioscience sector and the largest bioscience trade association in the world. Here’s a link to Jim’s letter to BIO’s membership and association leaders: http://go.bio.org/index.php/email/emailWebview
In his closing paragraph, Jim notes the industry is now facing its most perilous political challenge: “At the end of 2020, I will look back with pride on all that we have accomplished together and with great affection for BIO staff and our company leaders, who work so hard to forge progress in this greatest of all endeavors. In the meantime, we have before us the most perilous political challenge in our industry’s history, which could jeopardize the work our companies do so valiantly. I intend to fight with equal vigor to preserve incentives for innovation. Literally billions of people depend upon it. And, so the fight continues….”
Board members and I plan to repeat the legislative forecast meeting we hosted last year and will soon begin contacting speakers for this year’s event (the date and place are still under discussion). If you’re interested in helping to plan this event, contact board member Brian Shank – email@example.com — or me. In addition, we’re seeking sponsors for this event. If interested, please contact me to discuss various opportunities.
The Sandoval Economic Alliance will feature NMBio board member Dr. Richard Larson at its quarterly luncheon on Wednesday, November 6 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at the Santa Ana Star Center. Dr. Larson, Executive Vice Chancellor for UNM’s Health Science Center, will be discussing how we can accelerate the growth of the biotechnology industry in New Mexico.
SEA is offering NMBio members the opportunity to attend for $25 (the normal chare is $125). Here’s a link to register and more details on the program:
Ryan Cangiolosi, who works for Dr. Larson at UNM-HSC, gave an excellent overview at the Knowledge Fair on the progress of the recently created NM Bioscience Authority — https://nmbioscience.com — and its initiative to create a multi-million endowment to support the growth NM bioscience startups. In addition to myself, NMBio board members Stuart Rose and Thomas Kieft serve on the public-private bioscience authority.
Finally, please note that registration is now open for housing at BIO’s 2020 Convention in San Diego next June. Sign up now if you want to have the convenience of walking to the city’s convention center. Also, if you are interested in participating in the NM Pavilion, please contact me or the state’s Edward Herrera – Herrera — firstname.lastname@example.org. He can provide you with details and an application that will cover the cost of your registration and participation in the pavilion.