SCRANTON, January 7, 2013 — State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today hosted more than 150 local residents, officials and stakeholders from around the region at The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) for a discussion about Pennsylvania’s emerging bioscience industry.
Blake’s Bioscience Forum included presentations and discussions on how to enhance Pennsylvania’s competitiveness in the bioscience industry and how to grow the bioscience industry in NEPA.[frame align=”right”][/frame]”A decade ago Northeastern Pennsylvania was not well-positioned to compete for federal bioscience research funding or to attract the skills, the investment or the jobs linked to the bioscience industry,” Blake said. “Today, after a decade of public and private investment; the development of a robust set of bioscience-related assets; and the maturing, collective capacity of our region’s exceptional institutions of higher learning, we are in a much stronger position to compete and to grow in this critically important industry sector.”
The Honorable C. Alan Walker, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, served as the keynote speaker of the forum.
“Pennsylvania is poised for significant growth in the life sciences sector because of its location to key U.S. markets, world-class academic institutions and an entrepreneurial spirit that is second to none,” Walker said. “The Corbett administration will continue working with legislative leaders and local partners to support this growing industry that is creating good-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians.
Another central theme of Blake’s Bioscience Forum was the progress made by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative (NEPA RBI) – which was established in 2010 and aims to increase life science career and business opportunities within Northeastern Pennsylvania.
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“The Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative is a true regional collaboration with support from the both private and public business. We will align our strategic plan and goals with objectives set by the Commonwealth. We will develop a larger platform to leverage the strengths of our region, working towards growing a dynamic healthcare and bioscience based economy,” added William Scranton III, Co-Chair of the NEPA RBI.
Blake added that the Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative “will support future growth in pharmaceutical and clinical research; medical devices and equipment; and in professional, allied health care jobs.”
The Commonwealth Medical College, which also played host to Blake’s Bioscience Forum, has been a key partner in the development and progress of the NEPA RBI.
“Our faculty and students have been engaged in biomedical research since the inception of The Commonwealth Medical College with the goal to link our research efforts with the regional healthcare and economic development mission,” Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., TCMC president and dean, added. “Working in collaboration with our community, healthcare and NEPA RBI partners, we look forward to growing research opportunities to fill the knowledge gap within the local and regional sector, address patient care needs and promote regional economic development.”
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