Look at what’s new in D.C.

Program for 2011 BIO International Convention seeks to provide attendees with a well-rounded knowledge base they can use to advance business objectives

Jeffrey Bouley
Program for 2011 BIO International Convention seeks to provide attendees with a well-rounded knowledge base they can use to advance business objectives

WASHINGTON, D.C.—With themes for its 2011 BIO International Convention focused around the concepts of "Leadership, Partnerships and Breakthroughs," the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) brings insights into the business of biotech to Washington, D.C., this year—the city where BIO itself is headquartered—after a jaunt to Chicago last year for the event.

Walter E. Washington Convention CenterBIO bills the event as a place where decision-makers in various biotechnology industries come to form partnerships, evaluate the latest technologies and discover new players, adding that "the BIO Exhibition is where they get a snapshot of the evolving industry each year."

The exhibition, like the rest of the June 27-30 convention, is being held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and the exhibits will be broken down into five themed, or "product focus," areas. There is the BioProcess Zone, where you can see companies and organizations focused on upstream and downstream processing, manufacturing, custom outsourcing, information technology and regulatory compliance; the Clinical Trials Zone, focused on clinical trial management, injectable delivery technologies, oral drug delivery technologies, biomarkers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Critical Path; the Contract Services Zone, with its biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical contract research and manufacturing entities ranging from preclinical to clinical to commercial; the Discovery Zone, a place to find new and unique techniques for developing innovations in imaging, lab automation and supplies, software and hardware; and the Business Services Zone, where such players as law firms, logistics providers, consulting firms, office equipment/services and business support organizations can be found.

U.S. Capitol DomeThe exhibit floor pretty much covers the "breakthrough" part of its three-part theme, but what about "leadership" and "partnerships?"

For the former, BIO is highlighting its "Can't-Miss Monday" programming, which it says will feature "some of the biggest names in biotech." Those Monday programs begin with "Biotech Primer: Bio-Baffled?" at 10 a.m., and continues with "Leadership Summit: Deploying Agricultural and Industrial Biotechnologies to Meet Development Challenges" from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. and "Translational Research Forum and Reception: Translational Medicine—A Global Endeavor" from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

That isn't the only leadership-themed set of offerings, of course, and another one of note is the new "Emerging Leaders Workshop: Invest in Your Company's Future." The workshop is designed for mid-level product planners and marketing managers who have two to five years of experience and would like to master the skills of strategic planning, collaboration and logistics to successfully bring new products to the market. It will take place Monday, June 27 from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, June 28, from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Finally, the "partnering" part can be found in its most obvious form at the BIO Business Forum, which takes place more or less from 8 a.m. to 4:30 Tuesday, Wednesday and Jefferson Memorial at nightThursday—although the Tuesday part of the "partnering" begins at 10 a.m. and is both preceded and overlapped by Business Forum company presentations from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

BIO encourages attendees to come to the partnering events with a team and be ready to discuss strategic goals.

"Thousands of companies from around the world and across all industry segments will be in the BIO Business Forum with a shared goal—to build relationships that lead to successful partnerships and breakthrough solutions," touts Jim Greenwood, BIO's president and CEO. Through its BIO One-on-One Partnering system, BIO expects to facilitate more than 17,000 face-to-face meetings involving more than 2,100 companies, all in three days.


 
Super-session me!
Six 'super sessions' provide high-level perspectives on hot topics

The Super Sessions at the 2011 BIO International Convention will give C-level executives and other notable representatives from major companies a chance to "lead broad cAerial view of Georgetown waterfront areaonversations on the state of the global industry, emerging trends and recommended courses of action for biotech companies," according to Jim Greenwood, BIO's president and CEO.

Three of the six sessions are on Tuesday, with the first being Ernst & Young's "25th Annual Biotechnology Industry Report" from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., which will discuss implications for biotech companies as they face a more uncertain future in the current business climate. The session will explore new approaches to deal with current economic realities; creative partnering strategies to deal with a capital-constrained, risk-averse, high-scrutiny environment; ways to engage regulators and payers; and more.

After that will be the "Burrill State-of-the-Industry Report" from 2 p.m. to 3:30 pm., presented by G. Steven Burrill, who heads up Burrill & Co. Like the Ernst & Young report, this is a 25th annual occurrence for Burrill and will, in part, highlight the key global developments in 2010, such as healthcare reform, the "specter" of biogenerics and worries over threatened genetic patents and the possible resulting inhibition of biotech innovation.

Finishing up the Tuesday super sessions will be "It Takes a Village—The Biotechnology Innovation Ecosystem" from 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Sponsored by Eli Lilly & Co., this session will explore how key components of the biotechnology enterprise contribute to the development of innovative therapies that advance the public health and will detail the roles, relationships and interplay between government research labs, universities and biotechnology firms in the continuum from basic research to FDA-approved products and ultimately to the patient.

Wednesday's sessions will kick off with "Emerging Markets: The Future of Growth for Biologics?" from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., which will argue in part that the future of the biotech industry will depend on understanding the challenges inherent in emerging markets and converting those challenges into opportunities. Among the issues to be addressed will be changing assumptions about regulatory expectations, intellectual property rights and market access.

Next up for Wednesday is the "Campbell Alliance 2011 Dealmakers' Intentions" session from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., exploring the notion that the relationship between the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries has never been more apparent: partner to survive.

Finally, there will be "Worldview 2011: Scientific American's Regional Bio-Innovation Scorecard" from 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Fareed Zakaria, a CNN Host, editor-at-large of TIME Magazine, Washington Post columnist and New York Times bestselling author, will moderate a discussion with international thought leaders on encouraging global biotech growth, with a special focus on efforts by Brazil, Russia, India and China to build local biotechnology hubs.



Reaching across the aisle—and the lunch table
Keynote luncheon brings together leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties

Democratic and Republican party leaders and strategists will share their differing perspectives in a keynote panel titled "The Future of Healthcare Reform," during the Wednesday keynote luncheon at the 2011 BIO International Convention. Moderated by BIO's President and CEO, Jim Greenwood, the panel will include U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.), former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, and Republican political strategist Karl Rove.

On tap will be a discussion of the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing Paddleboats near the Jefferson MemorialThe Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 as well as efforts to repeal and reform the law.

"This year's BIO International Convention in Washington, D.C., presents the ideal venue for debate and discussion among some of the greatest political and healthcare policy minds of our time on restructuring of the nation's healthcare system," Greenwood says. "It is critical for biotechnology leaders to be aware of the implications for the industry as the Obama administration and Congress address healthcare reform implementation."

 

Get up close and personal with NIH


A group of 100 BIO International Convention attendees will get a free tour of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the morning of Monday, June 27, hosted by the Department of Economic Development of Montgomery County, Md.

The 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. event will begin with greetings from Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and, tentatively, NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins—or a designated senior NIH official if he is unavailable. The tour is designed in part to offer an understanding of the NIH mission and technology transfer initiatives, as well as provide insights into the agency, said to be the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. In fact, as BIO notes, almost 80 percent of the funding of the 27 institutes and centers comprising the NIH are awarded through nearly 50,000 competitive grants to more than 325,000 research teams at more than 3,000 universities, medical schools and other research institutions—not just in all 50 states, but around the world.

Those attending the event will be able to choose between one of three NIH centers to tour: the Clinical Research Center, National Library of Medicine or the Vaccine Research Center. Dedicated bus transportation between the convention center and NIH will be provided by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development.

Who's going to be at 2011 BIO International Convention?

If you're wondering who you're likely to bump into on the exhibition floor, since that's where people often have a bit more time to talk and interact, BIO is happy to oblige you with its projections based on past years. Some 70 percent of the people at the exhibits represent the upper management of their respective companies, and they spent an average of eight hours on the BIO Exhibition floor. Roughly a third of the exhibition visitors are managers, some 28 percent are designed "executive management," almost a quarter are directors and about 15 percent are at the C-level (CEOs, CFOs, CSOs, etc.).

If those numbers aren't quite enough for you, you might also be interested to know that one out of three convention attendees are typically from outside the United States. Also, at the 2010 event, some 40 percent of attendees hailed from large companies with 500 or more people, while a third represented medium-sized companies from 20 to 499 people and 27 percent were from small companies with fewer than 20 people on staff.

Lunch and a keynote … one Brit

The convention will feature a Tuesday keynote luncheon labeled as "An Interview with Tony Blair," to be held from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, the event will give former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Tony Blair, a chance to share his unique perspective on global issues.

"Mr. Blair's vast experience as a global leader will provide our audience with helpful and inspirational insights as we continue our industry's global mission to heal, fuel, feed the world," says BIO's president and CEO, Jim Greenwood.

Also on Tuesday, Greenwood will present his "State of the Industry" address, and the following awards will be presented at the Tuesday keynote luncheon: the BioGENEius awards and the Biotechnology Heritage Award.

 

A trio of tasty places to sate your hunger
From the fancy to the accessible, we've got you covered for a few meals, at least

In the grand tradition of our U.S. federal governmental system and its three branches of governing—executive, legislative and judicial—we're going to highlight three dining venues for you to consider visiting in and near the nation's capital.

Ben's Chili Bowl
1213 U St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.

If you can't make it here, even though it's so conveniently located across the street from the 13th St. exit of the U Street-African American Civil War Memorial subway stop on the Green line, you can always visit them online at www.benschilibowl.com—Ben's now ships products to all 50 states. So, whether you have a craving for chili or she crab soup, a new chili bowl, gift cards or souvenirs, they have you covered.

Dating back to 1958, the restaurant got its start when newlyweds Ben and Virginia Ali used $5,000 to renovate the building—at a time when businesses were failing nationally at a rate of more than 55 percent—that had originally been a silent movie house called the Minnehaha Theater in the early 1900s and later a pool hall.

There's really no excuse not to visit Ben's Chili Bowl during the BIO convention. Well, no excuse that involves time constraints, at least, given that the place is open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Friday and 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Saturday. Sunday is the hardest day to get in, as the restaurant opens at 11 a.m. and remains open a mere 12 hours until 11 p.m. Sunday is also the only day Ben's doesn't serve breakfast, which ends at 10:45 a.m. the other days.

While breakfast gives way to the restaurant's main menu just a little before 11 a.m. most days, you don't have to feel locked into pancakes, eggs, scrapple, corned beef hash or any of the many other choices for traditional morning fare if you get there early. Even during breakfast hours you can always get their famous chili dogs, chili half-smokes and bowls of beef or veggie chili.

Indigo Landing Restaurant
1 Marina Drive
Alexandria, Va.

Located adjacent to the Washington Sailing Marina on Daingerfield Island, the establishment bills itself as "an all-season sanctuary unlike any in the Metropolitan area. Our guests can find refuge from the urban world and enjoy the tranquility of this natural setting while viewing the monuments of Washington, D.C."

One reviewer calls Indigo Landing "perfect" for an afternoon cocktail or lunch overlooking the water, offering "a relaxing bar atmosphere, an airy feeling restaurant with modern decor and attentive service." Indigo Landing itself touts in particular its Sunday brunch, from which you can choose any number of Continental breakfast favorites, take advantage of a hot breakfast buffet or visit the carving station, omelet and waffle bar, salad bar and dessert buffet. An "all-you-care-to-eat" buffet, it also includes live jazz entertainment and champagne or mimosa if coffee and tea aren't enough for you.

Bangkok Joe's
3000 K St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.

Located in Georgetown, Bangkok Joe's offers some upscale Thai-style food among a lot of touristy and perhaps less tasty options along the Georgetown Waterfront. While drinking colorful cocktails at the bar, patrons can also enjoy a dumpling station with large steamers offering a variety of options like panang chicken, pork and crab shu mai, lobster and pine nut and mushroom and ginger. For the more substantial fare, there are noodle bowls, rice bowls, soups and salads and desserts like Thai coffee crËme br°lÈe and crispy chocolate caramel wontons.

Aulie Bunyarataphan, chef and owner of the establishment, says she is both inspired by the treasured recipes of her grandmother's worn cookbook and the importance of using fresh local ingredients, and she is a firm believer that there "are no shortcuts to fine Thai cooking." No word on whether she thinks there are acceptable shortcuts to preparing other ethnic cuisines.



Now for something a little different …
There's no reason to stick only to the most famous sights to see in D.C.

The nation's capital has a great many sites to visit and sights to see, from the Jefferson Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. Visiting any of these places, particularly if you've never been to D.C. before, makes a lot of sense. But at the same time, there is much more to see in the city than these tourist draws. Listing everything of value to explore would be totally beyond the scope of a single article, but here are four unique places that you might not even know exist, and which caught our attention as we researched things to do while you're at the BIO convention.

Einstein Memorial

This may not be the most awe-inspiring memorial, but in a place so known for statues and structures that honor politicians or members of the armed forces, having a monument to someone who put his skills to work for science is a nice change of pace. Situated in a grove of elm and holly in the southwest corner of the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences, this sculpture of Albert Einstein was unveiled in 1979 in honor of the centennial of the scientist's birth. Sitting in a very natural and casual manner, the bronze figure weighs in at around four tons and is 12 feet high. In its left hand, the figure holds a paper with mathematical equations summarizing three of Einstein's most important scientific contributions: the photoelectric effect, the theory of general relativity and the equivalence of energy and matter.

In addition, three notable quotations attributed to Einstein are engraved on a bench where the statue is seated: "As long as I have any choice in the matter, I shall live only in a country where civil liberty, tolerance and equality of all citizens before the law prevail," "Joy and amazement of the beauty and grandeur of this world of which man can just form a faint notion" and "The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true."

Aside from just being famous and really, really smart, Einstein's statue has a valid place at this location because he was elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences in 1922 and became a member in 1942, two years after he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. The sculptor of the statue, Robert Berks, is known for his portrait busts, such as one of John F. Kennedy at Washington's Kennedy Center, and he based the work on a bust of Einstein he sculpted when the scientists was still alive, in 1953.

International Spy Museum

If you find yourself at 800 F St. N.W. inside this museum, remember one thing: If and when you are strapped to some deathtrap by an evil genius, do not ask him sarcastically if he expects you to talk. He will likely only tell you, "No, I expect you to die." And if you flew in for the convention and had to endure searches and attention from TSA agents, you're unlikely to have a wristwatch laser or ballpoint pen explosive to free yourself.
In business since July 2002, the International Spy Museum is said to be the only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to espionage and "the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on an all-but-invisible profession that has shaped history and continues to have a significant impact on world events."

Exhibits include collections of international espionage artifacts meant to shed light on the work of famous spies and pivotal espionage actions and to help visitors understand the techniques and strategies used in espionage.

In addition, stories of individual spies are told through film, interactive displays and exhibits. There is also a museum store, private dining area, event facilities and two restaurants: Zola and Spy City Cafe.

Why do all this? Well, as the museum's founder and chairman, Milton Maltz, has said: "The International Spy Museum is more than history—more than information or entertainment—its mission is to reflect the significance of intelligence as a critical component of national security."

It should be noted that the International Spy Museum is a private and independent entity with no links to the CIA, NSA or any other government agency, foreign or domestic. At least that's what they tell us; if it were otherwise and we found out, they'd no doubt have to kill us.

General admission tickets are $18 for adults, $17 for those 65 or older, or for active members of the military or intelligence community, and $15 for children ages 5 to 11. Children under the age of 5 are free.

National Museum of the American Indian

The goals of the museum are laudable, so we won't harp on the fact that the more generally acceptable alternatives to "the American Indian" would be "the Native American" or "the Indigenous Peoples." The National Museum of the American Indian is the 16th museum of the Smithsonian Institution and is the first national museum dedicated to the preservation, study and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of Native Americans. Established by an act of Congress in 1989, the museum "works in collaboration with the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere to protect and foster their cultures by reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging contemporary artistic expression and empowering the Indian voice."

The more than 800,000 works collected by the museum span a wide range of cultural significance, from the aesthetic to religious to historical to everyday usefulness. Chronologically, the collections include artifacts from Paleo-Indian to contemporary arts and crafts. The museum's holdings also include film and audiovisual collections, paper archives and a photography archive of more than 300,000 images depicting both historic and contemporary Native American life.

The museum is located in the National Mall area at Fourth Street & Independence Avenue Southwest.

One of the exhibits that will be ending shortly after convention (July 4, to be exact) is "This IS Hawaii," featuring new and experimental works of art that explore what it means to be Hawaiian in the 21st century.

Ongoing exhibits include "Return to a Native Place: Algonquian Peoples of the Chesapeake," "Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World," "Our Peoples: Giving Voice to Our Histories" and "Our Lives: Contemporary Life and Identities."

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden "welcomes visitors at all levels of understanding to experience the transformative power of contemporary art," with offerings in various types of media from around the world. The museum is located at Independence Avenue and Seventh Street Southwest, and admission is free.

The Hirshhorn Museum's founding donor, Joseph H. Hirshhorn, who died in 1981, immigrated to New York from Latvia when he was eight years old. His widowed mother settled with her children (Joseph was the 12th of 13) in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. In time, Joseph Hirshhorn would become a financier, philanthropist and well-known collector of modern art whose gift to the nation of nearly 6,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings and mixed media pieces established his namesake museum on the National Mall. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has been open to the public since 1974.

 

Jeffrey Bouley

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