Governor Patrick Receives "Governor of the Year" Award from International Biotechnology Industry Organization
"I am honored to receive this award from BIO, and I share it proudly with the many people who helped us move the Life Sciences Initiative forward," said Governor Patrick. "Since our announcement of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative at BIO 2007, it has been one of the most important priorities of my administration. It is wonderful to know that the international community recognizes that we in Massachusetts are doing things differently, doing them well, and making a real difference in the life sciences cluster and in real people's lives."
The award was presented to the Governor by Joshua Boger, PhD., Chairman of BIO's Board of Directors and President & CEO of Cambridge-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated during a keynote luncheon before 3,000 people at the BIO 2008 International Convention.
"The Governor has demonstrated unflinching dedication to our state's tradition as a welcoming home to research institutions and companies dedicated to combating the diseases that plague mankind," said Boger. "The signing of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative is yet another example of the comprehensive approach Governor Patrick and his staff take to ensure the long-term success of life sciences in Massachusetts."
"We are pleased to see that Governor Patrick has been awarded with this well-deserved recognition, and to watch his efforts coming to fruition," said Geoff McKay, CEO of regenerative medicine leader Organogenesis, Inc. "Governor Patrick has been instrumental, along with state House and Senate leadership, in directing the efforts to pass the new life sciences bill. Organogenesis is a spin-off of technology developed at MIT, and our living cell therapies have helped to treat hundreds of thousands of patients around the world. We have spent an incredible amount of time, energy and funds to pioneer the regenerative medicine industry, including the industry's first-ever FDA approvals. We had outgrown our existing facilities, and were ready to make a commitment to a major expansion. Governor Patrick was a major catalyst for Organogenesis' decision to remain and expand in Massachusetts, and he in fact helped reverse our decision to leave the state. The life sciences bill solidified the state of Massachusetts as the best place in the world to translate potentially life-saving research into viable, successful businesses."
Following the presentation of the award, Governor Patrick participated in a panel discussion with former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, where the two spoke about the role of government in facilitating and fostering innovation and growth in the life sciences and biotechnology field. The panel was moderated by FOX Network's Neil Cavuto, host of Your World With Neil Cavuto.
During the panel discussion, Governor Patrick spoke about the need for a collaborative approach to investing in and attracting life sciences talent. Asked what the next President should do to advance life sciences, Governor Patrick spoke about the need to recognize the need to keep politics out of science and make investments for the long term.