BIO International Convention Will Feature Expanded Innovation Zone

May 25, 2015

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have agreed to feature Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funded early-stage biomedical companies in an expanded Innovation Zone at the 2015 BIO International Convention®, on tap in June in Philadelphia.

The Innovation Zone companies, focused on drug discovery, diagnostics and other therapeutic platform technologies, will have dedicated exhibit space and participate in BIO One-on-One Partnering™.

“We are thrilled to announce our expanded partnership with the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to bring the Innovation Zone to Philadelphia this year,” said Scott Whitaker, president of the BIO International Convention.  

He added, “Each of these companies, through their selection as SBIR grantees, have demonstrated transformational technology with large potential societal and market impact, presenting a unique opportunity for investors. Based upon the popularity of the inaugural Innovation Zone last year, we are planning to nearly double the size for 2015.”

Select companies will make 15-minute company presentations in the BIO Business Forum. The Innovation Zone will also feature six universities funded under the prestigious NSF Accelerating Innovation Research Program (AIR). This select group will demonstrate advanced biomedical prototypes that are very close to commercialization stage.

“NIH is committed to supporting exceptional innovation through the SBIR program. The early-stage companies showcased in this year's Innovation Zone highlight some of the most promising technologies and significant non-dilutive investments that we hope will achieve commercial success and significantly advance human health,” said Dr. Lenka Fedorkova, NIH SBIR/STTR program manager.

She added, “In order to move toward this goal, however, these companies require critical partnerships and capital. I encourage attendees to meet with our companies and explore the featured exhibits and presentations.”

Each of the companies has been rigorously vetted through the SBIR/STTR review process prior to receiving the non-dilutive funding to engage in R&D that has the potential for commercialization. The NIH and NSF invest a combined $940 million annually in the programs.

“The technology behind some of today’s greatest innovations have come from inventive small companies,” said Jesus Soriano, a program director for NSF's SBIR/STTR program.  

He added, “World-class tradeshows like the BIO Convention offer federally supported tech pioneers -- who have big ideas, but limited resources -- the opportunity to showcase their emerging research. This year, dozens of NSF-funded companies and several academic laboratories with prototypes will be available to talk about their high-risk, high-reward projects, which will span a wide range of topics from new therapeutic platforms to detection methods.”

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