Choose NJ heads to biotech event

//May 9, 2011

Choose NJ heads to biotech event

//May 9, 2011

One of the first big events for the state’s new economic development nonprofit will be a visit to the biotechnology industry’s largest annual gathering.

Choose New Jersey will head to Washington D.C. in late June for the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s International Convention. Last year, the event drew more than 15,000 industry leaders from 49 states and 65 countries.

Tracye McDaniel, CEO of Choose New Jersey, said her group is working with the trade association BioNJ, on a dinner the latter hosts each year during the convention.

“Partnering with BioNJ here in New Jersey to strengthen the showcase they have year after year is very important,” she said. “Biotech and pharma are very significant.”

McDaniel said her experience working in economic development has taught her that biotech and pharma are key industries. That’s particularly true in New Jersey, she said, where 24 of the world’s 30 largest pharmaceutical and medical device companies have a presence.

BioNJ will be hosting a booth throughout the four-day convention, which begins June 27. The BioNJ/Choose New Jersey dinner will take place June 28th. McDaniel said C-Level executives from biotech companies will be invited to the exclusive dinner, and treated to a showcase of New Jersey’s assets.

“The message is to talk about the strengths of life sciences in New Jersey and the strengths of what we have to offer as a business location,” she said.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who is leading Gov. Chris Christie‘s Red Tape Review Commission, will be at the event, as will Jay A. Tischfield, scientific director of the Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository in Piscataway. The Rutgers center is the largest such university-based repository in the world, making it a significant selling point for businesses looking to relocate here, McDaniel said.

The dinner will also highlight the quality of life in New Jersey, McDaniel said. She hopes to bring a top chef from the Garden State to show off the state’s “culinary assets.”