2015 BIO International Convention – Philadelphia

Each year, IHBI, bluebox and QUT’s Division of Research and Commercialisation sponsor QUT researchers to attend the Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO) conference, this year, held from 15 – 18 June in Philadelphia, USA.
The BIO International Convention is the largest biotechnology industry conference in the world attracting 15,800 attendees from thousands of organisations working within the biotechnology industry. The BIO conference offers key networking and partnering opportunities, and provides insights and inspiration on the major trends affecting the industry.

This year, Dr Jyotsna Batra and Dr Emad Kiriakous were chosen as the 2015 BIO Fellows. Below is an account of their experiences at this years BIO.

Dr Jyotsna Batra

“It was a fantastic networking opportunity to attend BIO 2015 at the Philadelphia Convention Center. As an Early-mid career Researcher attending BIO for the first time, I was thrilled to realise the depth of the conference, and the potential to attract commercial funding into the Research. The QUT Biotechnology Luncheon provided a robust platform for networking with Queensland/Australian dignitaries and as delegates. The talk by our keynote speaker, Dr Amaya Gillespie was truly inspiring.

I was not involved in the one on one partnering, but it gave me ample opportunities to attend most of the educational sessions, which were very highly constructive from a professional development perspective. During the Educational sessions/seminars, many companies pointed out that there are two types of funding opportunities – ‘ready-made technologies closer to commercialisation’ and the other one for the ‘Innovation’. I found it unconventional that companies were ready to fund logical basic ideas with commercialisation potential without much of the data, where companies were interested in venturing initial capital into the project. If I was aware of this opportunity, I would have undertaken several one-one partnering showcasing my research. Nevertheless, I had interactions with representatives from companies during seminars, social networking sessions as well as at their Booths, which was beneficial. I also gathered information about several new technologies/services, such as Drug delivery, Peptide synthesis, Nanomedicine etc., which are highly relevant to the research conducted in my laboratory.

Overall, I was a very fervent to attend the BIO2015 convention and I highly acknowledge QUT Bluebox for providing me a fellowship to become a part of this very fruitful event.”

Dr Emad Kiriakous

“BIO2015 was a good exposure to the biomedical industry and accommodated a unique mix between science and business. A significant benefit from Bio2015 was establishing new links and networks with many businesses and scientists from other countries. Understanding the industry requirements was another benefit that assists tuning up the scientific work towards the commercial targets. Also being introduced to the marketing strategies of businesses in the biomedical industry gave me a good understanding of the importance of demonstrating the practical value of scientific research and not only its theoretical merits.”