Marcelyn Love 217/558-1542

 2010 National BIO Convention Comes to Illinois

Approximately 15,000 visitors from across the globe expected to attend the four-day event in Chicago

CHICAGO � Thousands of visitors from around the world gathered in Chicago today for the 2010 BIO International Convention, the world�s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry. Illinois is expected to host between 15,000 and 17,000 industry leaders from 48 states and 60 countries during the four-day event. This marks the second time the BIO convention has been held in Chicago.

�Illinois is quickly becoming an emerging leader in the life sciences field, due in large part to our mix of agricultural resources and top-notch research infrastructure in the state,� said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Warren Ribley. �Our investments in this industry will pay dividends in the future by creating good-paying, sustainable jobs and fostering an environment where innovation can continue to thrive.�

�The state�s abundant agricultural resources have helped make Illinois a hotbed for building and sustaining a strong life sciences industry,� said Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Tom Jennings. By investing in growth areas like the biotechnology and renewable sectors, we�re finding new ways to build the economy, create jobs and further promote the use of home-grown resources.�

Illinois is a natural host for BIO2010 due to its strong reputation as a Midwestern leader in the biotech industry. A study that was released on Monday by the Battelle Memorial Institute reports that Illinois� bioscience industry employs more than 57,000 people in the state. Academic research and development in the state has enjoyed strong growth since 2004, increasing by 27.5 percent or above the national growth rate. Illinois also has one of the highest concentrations of research institutions in the country, including more than 440 corporate R&D facilities and more than 200 academic, government, and not-for-profit research institutions (Source: Illinois Science and Technology Coalition).

�We're thrilled to be back in Chicago after an extraordinary event in 2006,� said Jim Greenwood, BIO's president and CEO.  �Nearly 15,000 people from every corner of the globe will come to Chicago this week and see it is an international city with a strong and vibrant biotech community including first-rate research institutions, top global companies and emerging enterprises. The Midwest region is home to companies working across the full spectrum of our industry - in health and medical, food and agriculture, and industrial and environmental.  The depth and breadth of the biotech industry in Illinois and throughout the Midwest will be on full display this week at the 2010 BIO International Convention.�

BIO 2006 was the first time in its thirteen year history that this international biotechnology convention was ever held in the Midwest, and the coordinating organization has already committed to hosting the 2013 convention in Chicago.

For more information on BIO 2010, visit