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2008 BIO International Convention Expected to Add $83 Million to the San Diego Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Monday, May 19, 2008) - The 2008 BIO International Convention in San Diego is expected to positively impact the region’s economy by generating $83 million in economic benefits during its four-day run June 17 to 20, 2008, at the San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC).

According to the SDCCC, more than 20,000 attendees will generate an estimated $34.6 million in direct spending, plus $1.47 million in tax revenues. The SDCCC estimates that the convention will generate 39,960 hotel nights.

“The convention will bring the biotech world to San Diego and have a strong impact on the local economy,” said Jim Greenwood, CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). “Both BIO and San Diego have undergone tremendous growth since our last convention here in 2001. San Diego is now one of the top three biotech clusters in the U.S. Convention attendance will have grown from 14,731 in 2001 to more than 20,000 in 2008. Interest is greater than ever because of the critical issues being addressed during the convention, including follow-on biologics/biosimilars, personalized medicine, genomics, sustainable agriculture, biofuels and clean tech.”

For the 2001 convention, 890 companies exhibited using 81,700 square feet of space. In 2008, more than 2,200 companies will exhibit and cover 220,000 square feet, Greenwood said. The 2008 convention program features more than 175 breakout sessions, six super sessions on major industry topics and three keynote lunches with Ret. Gen. Colin Powell on leadership, J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., on the future of genomics, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on biotech in California, and Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) and Former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) on the role of government in research and discovery.

The 2008 BIO convention will rank No. 2 in size of economic impact to San Diego during 2008 just behind the $99.8 million expected from the 2008 Winter Fancy Foods and Confection Show, according to the Convention Center Corp.

Beyond the convention economics, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (SDREDC) reports that the life science cluster in San Diego has an annual economic impact of $5.3 billion in direct spending and another $3.8 billion in multiplier spending for a total impact of $9.1 billion a year (2006 dollars). According to the SDREDC, the county's life science jobs pay an average wage in excess of $80,000 – 83 percent above the average pay for all jobs.

San Diego life science companies -- including biotechnology firms and medical device firms -- received more than $4.9 billion in venture capital funding in the years 2001-2007, according to the MoneyTree Survey of PricewaterhouseCoopers. That figure represents 57.3 percent of all VC investment in San Diego County during that time.

San Diego companies and research institutes received more than $1 billion in combined research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation in 2005, the latest year for which figures are available according to the SDREDC.

The cluster is also collegial and collaborative. San Diego universities and biotech research institutes have spun off an estimated 200 life science companies, according to the SDREDC.  The San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine is California's leading recipient of California state grants to conduct human embryonic stem cell research. The consortium is made up of UCSD, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and The Scripps Research Institute.

The BIO International Convention helps to support the association’s programs and initiatives. BIO works throughout the year to create a policy environment that enables the industry to continue to fulfill its vision of bettering the world through biotechnology innovation.  For more information on the global event for biotechnology, including program, registration, and housing information, please visit

More information and online registration is available at  

Upcoming BIO Events

BIO International Convention 
June 17-20, 2008
San Diego, CA

Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy 
Sept. 10-12, 2008
Vancouver, BC


About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.