Members and friends of Virginia Bio,
Virginia faces an urgent need to diversify and grow its economy
. This need has made economic development a rare potential area of cooperation between the General Assembly and the Governor, Republicans and Democrats.
Bioscience commercialization presents a unique opportunity to Virginia to meet this need and solve this crisis. The state has all the pieces to base significant long term growth and to grow into a leading state economy. We need to focus and align, make some investments and incentivize private sector activity.
For these reasons, I have been working for over a year with policymakers in the Administration and General Assembly to gather facts on bioscience commercialization policies and results within Virginia and in other states. We have collected data on demonstrated return on investment. We have helped to mount three statewide gatherings of Virginia bioscience leaders. We helped coordinate statewide working groups commissioned by the Governor and brought their reports back to an audience of state leaders, setting out principles for a plan that would take Virginia from where it is today to a greatly expanded and mature bioscience economy. At Virginia Bio's April strategic Board retreat, the organization set our top priority to prepare, propose and fight for a plan to enact in budget and legislation during the 2016 General Assembly, which begins in January.
This week, on Tuesday, October 20 at 12pm
we will conduct a webinar for our members to present the plan that has been developed, answer questions, and enlist your active support in making the plan reality. Click here
for the webinar link.
I will share the plan one on one with policymakers and present it to gatherings of stakeholders statewide from now until January.
We also will enlist your help starting immediately
and continuing over the coming months to socialize the plan. We need members to meet with their legislators and with the members of the Administration and urge them to support the plan, support the industry and do something significant to make a significant difference in the future of Virginia's economy.
This is a topic in which virtually every elected legislator and public official agrees, and declares publicly its importance. It is our task to assure these people make it a priority against the many competing claims of legacy programs and louder voices. The Governor has famously and repeatedly announced bioscience is a top priority. We need to work to assure that in his proposed budget and legislative agenda that is indeed the case. Legislators have declared their support for economic development. We need to be in repeated contact with them to explain the importance of the bioscience initiative and monitor the response in the progress of legislation and the decisions of the money committees in each chamber whether that is in fact the case.
I would love to hear from those of you who would be willing to help us by visiting, making calls or writing emails
to your legislators, sending letters to the editor, or hosting legislators for a tour of your facility to communicate the importance of bioscience commercialization and your support of Virginia Bio's plan firsthand.
Please join us for the webinar, and then help us convert this historic opportunity to a real and significant achievement for the state.
We can create many thousands of new high paying jobs, while helping to heal, feed and fuel the world.