BioOhio annual conference is all about the two Gs — growth and global

BioOhio’s annual conference has always been about growth. This year’s conference — BioGPS: Global Positioning for Success — adds a global twist to growth for Ohio’s medical and testing laboratories; medical device, drug and equipment developers; contract research and manufacturing organizations; and health information technology and consulting companies.

DUBLIN, Ohio — BioOhio’s annual conference has always been about growth of the state’s  bioscience companies. This year, the organization that helps build medical and testing laboratories; medical device, drug and equipment developers; contract research and manufacturing organizations; and health information technology and consulting companies in Ohio is adding a global twist to its program.

The typical number of people — about 325 — have preregistered to attend BioGPS: Global Positioning for Success, which will be held today and tomorrow at the Embassy Suites Columbus/Dublin hotel in Dublin, Ohio, said Matt Schutte, corporate communications director for BioOhio. This year’s global theme has been on the minds of BioOhio folks for several years.

“BioOhio is focused on growing Ohio’s bioscience industry. In past years, we’ve talked about entrepreneurship and innovation, we even looked into medical devices and diagnostics one year,” Schutte said. “Another year, we delved into workforce development and training. Another year, we talked about Third Frontier funding and how that is a pivot, how that is a leverage point. Last year was jobs stimulus funding.”

BioOhio may have exhausted domestic topics, for the moment. “We need to educate and motivate Ohio’s bioscience companies, and even research institutions, to begin thinking globally, in terms of growth,” he said. “Maybe that’s in the form of exporting — that’s the most blatant and obvious form of global growth. But it’s also in terms of alliances, partnerships, marketing arrangements, research agreements, sharing of information. It could be social networking, could be Web site branding.”

BioOhio will kick off the conference Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. with a welcome reception and student poster session. Thursday is full of sessions on entering global markets, doing research and commercialization globally, attracting international companies to Ohio, communicating in a global marketplace, developing global partners and navigating international clinical trials.

(MedCity News is an event co-sponsor, and I’m moderating a panel on “The Third Frontier’s Worldwide Reach” at 11:05 a.m. on Thursday.)

“We’re very excited about the agenda,” Schutte said. “We truly feel it goes from 40,000 feet down to ground level throughout the day. There’s nice general information about globalization trends in biosciences down to brass tacks. For example, the clinical trials session that will end the day.”

Jeffrey Wadsworth give the conference keynote address at 10:25 a.m. on Thursday. Wadsworth is president and chief executive of Battelle, the international science and technology research and development organization in Columbus.

“We’re really happy to have Jeff Wadsworth as our keynote speaker,” Schutte said. “Jeff not only brings personal global experience — he’s a native of the U.K. and started his business career there – but also Battelle is as global as it gets. So it’s going to be an opportunity for us to hear  Battelle’s global story.”

The conference will take place at the Embassy Suites hotel at 5100 Upper Metro Place in Dublin. Register for the conference online or at the door. Registration for all conference events costs $70 for BioOhio members, government employees and students, and $140 for everyone else.