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BioAgenda Summit Greeting

Welcome to the American Film Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland.  I want to thank everyone from BioAgenda – Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera, Dave Duncan, Michael Whitehouse – and so many of you who have made today possible.  I understand that this is the first time we have ever hosted this summit on the east coast, and I want to thank you for choosing our state.

We’re grateful for this opportunity to exchange new ideas, to discuss new technologies, to challenge what we know and ask questions about what we don’t know.  The story of human progress is written and told by people like you – people who are willing to engage in the unknown, to risk action, to explore the depths of human knowledge.  And I want to thank each of you for your important work to advance the possibilities of this new generation.

There’s no better place to continue that global journey than here in our great state – to renew President Roosevelt’s call for an America of “bold, persistent experimentation.”

Today, here in Maryland, we are leading the way by building on our strengths.  We have world-class institutions like Johns Hopkins University and UMBI.  We have one of the most skilled workforces in the entire nation.  We also have over 400 bioscience companies that are bridging the public/private divide everyday.  And, we have federal facilities like NIH, the FDA and NASA, just to name a few – all within our state.

Taken together, they form a strategic east coast incubator for the development of scientific healing and discovery.  And, in this new time of possibility, we have a shared responsibility to advance a dynamic vision that fuses innovation, research and economic development to sustain lasting growth.

Having answered what we want to achieve, we now have to ask how.

Fortunately, we don’t have to look any further than all of you in this room.  For many years, you have shown the way with your collaboration, with your diversity, with your rigorous work.  By bringing together the engineer, the scientist and the CEO, you have been strengthening our competitive advantage.

Now, as the science and technology changes, we have to change along with it.  What does that mean?  It means that, in partnership, we have to identify challenges, improve efficiencies, and increase market deliverables – not only as one organization, or one state; but as a nation.  Instead of reacting to change, we can chart the course.

Together, with the help of many of you, we have already begun.  This year, here in Maryland, we established our Life Sciences Advisory Board to develop our long-term vision and strategy.  We secured and defended our biotech tax credit to unleash entrepreneurship and attract investment.  And, we made an historic investment in stem cell research – not only to attract the best and brightest, but to heal more of our neighbors.

We still have more work to do.  But we know that our ability to sustain progress depends on our ability to grow our bioscience industries.  Very simply, that’s where we find the strength to rise to the global challenges that we all share.  We have the opportunity, if we choose, to feed the hungry, to cure the sick, to develop, in the words of Jeffrey Sachs, the “weapons of mass salvation.”  Together, we can make the daily difference between life and death.

By investing in the skills and creativity of all of you, we can chose to go beyond our limits, beyond what’s possible, to once again answer the bold call of our nation, and lead the way.

Thanks so much for coming to Maryland.

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