This will be the third year in a row that I have led a life science delegation on a trade mission with Governor Gregoire and I am looking forward to it. Both of the previous trade missions have led directly to collaborations, ongoing conversation or increased communication between Washington’s life science organizations and like organizations from China, France and Germany. I am expecting nothing less from our trip to India and South Korea.
Washington’s life sciences sector is one of Washington’s largest and fastest growing job sectors. with a presence in nearly 70 different cities statewide, adding $10.4 billion to our state’s GDP and $6.6 billion in personal income to our local economy. This trip should provide an opportunity for our companies and research organizations to make inroads into some of the world’s fastest growing health care markets, which are also investing billions of dollars into biotech and biomedical research, development and commercialization.
The itinerary is extremely busy and should prove to be very productive. In addition to our organization, the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association, I am also very excited that I will be joined by no less than 13 of our member organizations throughout the trip. We have a couple of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU’s) to sign with “sister” trade associations in India and Korea. One with the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) in India and the other with the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) in Seoul. These MOU’s are the cornerstone of working with organizations around the world that can provide access and relationships for our members to engage potential partners from their associations.
The delegation will also be visiting several life science clusters, like “Genome Valley”, as well as participating in several industry CEO roundtable discussions, aimed at increasing collaboration, as well as trade and investment in Washington state life science organizations.
Our delegation is quite diverse, with representation from local companies and non-profit research organizations that already have ties with India like; Halosource, Jubilant Hollister-Stier, Sightlife and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to name a few, to companies looking to begin the development of relationships with potential partners and investors in India and Korea.
We all look forward to returning home and hosting future meetings with our newly found colleagues that will help to continue to grow one of Washington’s economies of the future.