Regional career fairs faring well
Two down, one to go.
BioOhio has hosted two successful career fairs—April 22 in Cleveland and May 14 in Cincinnati—and is looking forward to similar results in Columbus on May 27.
“Despite the general economy’s uncertainty, many bioscience operations in Ohio continue to grow,” commented BioOhio Senior Director of Workforce Bill Tacon. “These events are one way we can help fuel that growth for Ohio’s economic recovery.”
The Cleveland career fair featured eight recruiting companies and several career services booths, attracting 185 job seekers. The Cincinnati event, held at fellow Edison Center TechSolve’s facility, matched up 13 companies with 182 job seekers. For a list of exhibitors and access to the registration booklets: www.bioohio.com/working-learning/Career-Events.aspx
The May 27 career fair in Columbus will be held at the Holiday Inn Columbus-Worthington, from 1:30pm to 6:00pm. To register as an attendee or as an exhibitor, contact Jen Goldsberry, firstname.lastname@example.org
Each event is designed for job seekers to learn about opportunities at growing bioscience businesses and research organizations. From 2005-2007, BioOhio held one annual, statewide career fair in Columbus, which drew an average of 250 job candidates.
BioOhio facilitates meet-and-greet at Statehouse
BioOhio members have asked for more opportunities to interact with state policymakers, so we happily answered with a members-only event in the Statehouse Atrium on April 7. An evening reception attracted nearly 60 members from throughout Ohio and more than 20 state legislators (or their staff) and State of Ohio officials.
While handshakes, refreshments, and business card exchanges ruled the evening’s agenda, a few minutes were devoted to brief remarks on the bioscience industry and Ohio’s economy in general. BioOhio President Tony Dennis advocated for continued support for the biosciences to the many legislators and staff in attendance. Rep. Mark Schneider (D-Lake County) and Sen. Jimmy Stewart (R-Athens) announced their intent to form House and Senate Bioscience Caucuses, respectively. Rep. Jay Goyal (D-Mansfield), the House point person on economic development, spoke on behalf of House Speaker Armond Budish to indicate the new Speaker's support for growing the bioscience industry.
Earlier in the day, many BioOhio member company executives and researchers spent the day in Columbus meeting with legislators, who were impressed by the bioscience community’s turnout.
Based on the feedback received from members and policymakers alike, BioOhio will hold an annual statehouse day and reception each spring.
Sen. Sherrod Brown announces new bill to create jobs through emerging industries workforce training
On April 1 U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut, BioOhio President & CEO Tony Dennis, and Ohio university and college presidents to announce new legislation that would invest in bioscience and other emerging industries in Ohio.
Brown’s “Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success” (SECTORS) Act, which he introduced today with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), would support the development of specialized workforce training programs at two-year colleges to meet regional workforce needs of emerging industries or “sectors.” Brown and Snowe first introduced this legislation in 2008.
“Workforce development and job creation go hand-in-hand,” said Brown. “By providing tailored education programs for regional industry needs, we can create and retain jobs in Ohio. We need to ensure that Ohio workers are equipped with the skills for jobs of the 21st century.”
“The proposed SECTORS Act provides a framework which supports the implementation of educational programs, workforce training and infrastructure for the statewide expansion of Ohio’s bioscience industry,” said Dennis, “Not limiting investment to just one region.” Dennis noted that the legislation would leverage Ohio community colleges’ growing involvement in the bioscience industry.
The SECTORS Act provides grants for sector partnerships among institutions of higher education, industry, organized labor, and workforce boards. These partnerships would create customized solutions for specific industries at the regional level. A sector approach can focus on the dual goals of promoting the long-term competitiveness of industries and advancing employment opportunities for workers.
Supercomputer expansion to benefit Ohio bioscience industry
In late February, the Ohio Supercomputer Center launched a $4 million expansion of its flagship supercomputing system, a strategic addition that will more than double current computing power and memory, significantly increasing the Center’s computational capacity dedicated to Ohio’s bioscience and research efforts.
The expansion will integrate a new generation of IBM hardware into OSC’s IBM Cluster 1350, which became operational in January 2008. Because of the pent-up demand by Ohio researchers for supercomputing access, the new system reached operational capacity in just three months.
This expansion can further propel Ohio to the forefront of biosciences research and job creation,” said Stanley Ahalt, executive director of OSC. “With critical supercomputing resources, Ohio researchers can increase the state’s share of national bioscience funding.
OSC officials determined that the biosciences would be one of the most productive areas in which the Center could focus investments, collaborations, research and market solutions.
Ohio policymakers in recent years have moved to strategically align Ohio’s research and technology portfolio, identifying 12 institutional and industrial platforms most promising for statewide economic impact. Of these dozen platforms, OSC officials determined that the biosciences— along with advanced materials and data exploitation— would be one of the most productive areas in which the Center could focus investments, collaborations, research and market solutions.
"The Ohio Supercomputer Center has fostered close ties with the state’s bioscience research community, especially within bioinformatics and biomedical sciences,” said BioOhio President & CEO Tony Dennis. “Expanding the availability of high performance computing resources for academic and industry researchers will further Ohio’s growth as a national leader in the biosciences.”
OSC’s partnerships include work with Nationwide Children’s Research Institute on the innovative Virtual Microscopy to Microarray cancer identification project, which has garnered national attention. OSC also partners with the Ohio State University Medical Center’s Biomedical Informatics Department, working on its caGrid infrastructure and related software, which provides a national network that may speed cancer research discoveries.
Expected to be fully operational by summer, the total expanded system will increase in computing capacity from 22 teraflops to 75 teraflops and nearly triple available memory, from 8.4 terabytes to 24 terabytes
BioOhio Government Affairs Update
compiled by Colby & Co.
The Ohio General Assembly is currently working on the biennial executive budget, required by the constitution to be signed by Governor Strickland by July 1, 2009. The House passed its version of the budget and the budget is under consideration in the Senate. The Strickland Administration and Ohio General Assembly continue to recognize the need to support the biosciences as a way to grow Ohio jobs, and the following initiatives are included in the budget:
Technology Investment Tax Credit: This existing program stimulates the formation of new Ohio ventures by providing a tax credit for taxpayers who invest in small, Ohio-based R&D and technology-based companies. The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) supports the increase of the tax credit cap. Currently, the amount of credits that may be granted for the program is statutorily capped at $30 million, which the program will reach in the first half of 2009. To maintain and extend this initiative, the budget proposes to raise the cap to $45 million, which should allow the program to continue through the end of calendar year 2011.
Job Retention Tax Credit: This existing program provides tax credits to companies investing $100 million in its operations and retaining at least 1,000 jobs. As the program is currently structured, few projects are eligible. ODOD supports lowering minimum investment and job retention to $50 million and 500 jobs, making the program available to more companies. ODOD recommends a cap on the dollar value of credits issued each year, starting at $13 million in the first year and growing by $13 million per year, to a total of $195 million after 15 years.
Basic and Applied Research: The Board of Regents (BOR) budget supports: research funding accessible to both universities and Ohio industries, including the biosciences; performance-based funding to maximize the leveraging of federal and industrial research grants; direct support for specific technology commercialization and academic research programs; and continued alignment with Third Frontier Project initiatives.
Ohio Venture Capital Authority: ODOD proposed a higher cap for the Ohio Venture Capital Authority.
BioOhio Advocacy Priorities
Workforce: BioOhio continues to advocate for a redesigned workforce development approach for the bioscience industry. BioOhio is attempting to use Workforce Investment Act dollars to design industry-driven initiatives that meet the demands for the industry and will serve as a major company attraction tool.
BioBus: BioOhio actively supports funding for a BioBus, a mobile bioscience lab and educational program for Ohio students that will travel the state to teach students about careers in bioscience.
Ohio Bioscience Manufacturing Transition Assistance: BioOhio is working to make Ohio a center of medical device manufacturing and is starting a conversation among policymakers about how to make this happen by building on Ohio's manufacturing strengths. BioOhio has proposed establishment of a bio-manufacturing Transition Assistance Program to aid auto, aerospace, and tool and die manufacturers in becoming suppliers to the bioscience industry.
New Legislation of Interest: HB 123, Graduate Tax Credits (Goyal, Mandel), grants an income tax credit to individuals who earn degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math-based fields of study and authorizes municipal corporations to grant a credit to individuals qualifying for the state credit.
Federal Legislative Action
BioOhio submitted proposals to fund three initiatives through the federal appropriations process: the Ohio Bioscience Manufacturing Transition Fund; a comprehensive workforce plan for Ohio; and a BioBus proposal. The President’s budget has been returned to Congress with President Obama’s recommendations and Congress will decide in the coming months what fiscal requests remain in the final language. BioOhio will continue to advocate to its Congressional delegation for its projects in the months ahead.
BioOhio strongly supports Sen. Sherrod Brown’s new SECTORS legislation, which recognizes that major changes need to be made to workforce development at the U.S. Department of Labor in order to support growing industries such as bioscience. See related article in this issue.
BioOhio Visits DC to Rally Industry Support: BioOhio has been meeting with the Ohio delegation on Capitol Hill to aggressively advocate for the state’s bioscience industry. In April, BioOhio President Tony Dennis and representatives from Colby & Company attended a BIO fly-in to raise the profile of the Ohio bioscience industry to Congress.
Biosimilars Bill (H.R. 1548): BioOhio is supportive of federal legislation sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA), and Joe Barton (R- TX) that establishes a pathway to generic biologics. BioOhio does not support other federal bills for generic biologics as these bills limit biologic patents to five years and eliminate the need for clinical trials of generic biologics to determine clinical effectiveness.
Patent Reform: BioOhio is closely monitoring federal patent reform legislation and working with Ohio universities to ensure that intellectual property at research universities cannot be confiscated by the federal government ("walk-in rights").
Ohio goes south to attract bioscience interest
Officials from BioOhio, the Ohio Department of Development, and four of Ohio’s leading bioscience companies will team up to showcase Ohio’s assets and business advantages at the BIO 2009 Convention in Atlanta.
From May 19-21, the “Ohio: State of Perfect Balance” exhibit booth (#5719) will inform and educate attendees from every U.S. state and dozens of countries on the breadth and depth of Ohio’s growing bioscience industry. Nearly 1,200 bioscience-related entities—from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies—operate in the state.
Booth personnel from BioOhio, the Ohio Department of Development, and the Ohio Business Development Coalition will promote the benefits of locating or expanding a bioscience-related firm in Ohio. Special attention will be focused on the state’s capabilities related to getting products to market, from prototype testing and clinical trials to manufacturing and logistics. With an estimated attendance of 18,000, the BIO Annual International Convention is the largest biotechnology conference in the world.
Four Ohio-based companies—Battelle, Eurand, Diagnostic Hybrids, and Amylin Ohio—will have featured areas within the Ohio booth. Representatives from these firms will be on hand to answer questions, meet with clients, and discuss opportunities with potential clients and partners.
In addition to networking on the exhibit floor, BioOhio officials will participate in the BIO Business Forum to arrange one-on-one meetings in the convention center with companies interested in Ohio as an expansion or relocation site.
BioOhio also will host an evening reception on May 20 in Atlanta at the World of Coca-Cola, in partnership with Squire Sanders & Dempsey. More than 200 guests from around the world are expected to attend.
Ohio Bioscience News Briefs
Hot off the press… The sixth issue of BioOhio’s annual magazine, Accelerating Excellence, will debut tomorrow (May 19) at the BIO 2009 Convention in Atlanta. Next week, BioOhio members will get a copy by mail and an interactive digital edition will be posted on the BioOhio web site. Thank you to advertisers and our publisher, BioOhio member BioMedia.
Keeping up with the news…
Almost everyday, there’s a published article about an Ohio bioscience company or research institution, and most of them are linked on the BioOhio NewsTicker page (www.bioohio.com/news/News-Ticker.aspx
). So impress family and friends with your encyclopedic knowledge of all things “bio in Ohio,” check the NewsTicker every week.
Membership on a mission… BioOhio membership has exceeded 300 for the first time! 309 to be exact. The following new members (since mid-February) got us over the hump. Welcome…
Arboretum Ventures Inc.
Midlake Products & Mfg. Co., Inc.
Standley Law Group LLP
X-spine Systems, Inc.
City of Dublin, Dept. of Economic Development
Haddad-Wylie Industries, LLC
Phillips Plastics Corporation
The Incubation Factory
Advanced Biological Marketing
Aerotek Scientific, LLC
Astro Manufacturing & Design
DayChem Laboratories, Inc.
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
Colortech Document Solutions
View the full member list here
. BioOhio is Ohio's only statewide bioscience membership and development organization. To learn more about membership, check this out
or call 614/675-3686, x1004.
BioOhio "Road Trip" reception in Cleveland, and other upcoming bioscience events in Ohio
Our happy hour networking events in Cincinnati and Columbus have been fun and productive. If you live up in the northeast or find yourself there on business on June 2, we hope to see you at NightTown.
Other upcoming events:
BioOhio’s third regional career fair, May 27 in Columbus… Transition Ohio Manufacturers to Medical Device Production event in West Chester on May 29… and more. And save-the-date for BioOhio’s 2009 Annual Conference, September 30 - October 1. For more details on these and other Ohio bioscience events: www.bioohio.com/news/Events-Calendar.aspx