Oregon Bio and TAO ink collaboration agreement

Partnership to address members' joint interests in growing the regional medical, health, software and hardware industries

Lloyd Dunlap
PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Bio and the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) this week formalized a collaboration agreement to cultivate Oregon's health information technologies, personal digital health products, bioinformatics and health analytics industries. According to the agreement, both organizations will coordinate support for companies, entrepreneurs, research institutes and care organizations to expand Oregon's life sciences and digital health economy.
 
"The current wave of IT adoption is expected to significantly impact patient care. Oregon Bio and TAO are natural partners in fostering a thriving health IT industry to expand Oregon's leadership in this space. Fortunately, Oregon has active industry groups in high tech, medical technology and bioscience. Now is the time for us to fully commit to supporting digital health care," Oregon Bio board chair and president of Medspire, Matt Smits said in a press release.
 
This unique collaboration agreement allows both organizations to leverage their core industry strengths. The agreement also addresses members' needs regarding common areas of networking, advocacy, educational events and industry-specific training. "Companies in the technology sector, specifically those focusing on emerging health technologies, are evolving and a key part of a growing Oregon technology ecosystem. We are really excited to help support this," said Skip Newberry, president of TAO. "The intersection of software and hardware development, medical technology and bioscience is a growing phenomena not only in Oregon but nationally. The opportunity for innovation and collaboration has never been better."
 
Dennis McNannay, executive director of Oregon Bio, added that "As health care and medical devices continue to become increasingly reliant on wireless connectivity, biosensors, embedded software, nanotechnology and big data to make clinical decisions, it is important that organizations like Oregon Bio and TAO cooperate to support this rapidly growing industry sector. Together we can help companies leverage our regional base of technology, device manufacturing and workforce expertise to grow Oregon's share of the emerging digital health market."
 
One particular event that both associations are anticipating is the Oregon Bio 2014 annual conference, to be held September 15-17. On Sept. 17, Oregon Bio's conference will focus on the emerging biosensor and wearable technology markets. Most industry watchers believe that biosensors, driven by breakthroughs in microelectronics and ubiquitous internet access, will fuel the creation of entirely new markets and product categories. From watches to wearable exercise monitoring devices, "bio-aware" products have the promise of empowering users to become healthier. Some experts, however, are skeptical this next generation gadgetry won't also expose its wearers to invasions of privacy, false indications and an avalanche of confusing data.
 
The Biosensor Day offers a diverse slate of speakers from Nike, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Analog Devices, Biotronik and Cambia who will debate technology trends, product opportunities and the potential impact these innovations will have on the business models of healthcare.
 
The July issue of Inc. Magazine profiled how health IT is leading new venture capital investment, by detailing how such investments in the second quarter of 2014 climbed to record levels, with technology and healthcare making the largest gain.
 
Said Rob Coppedge, senior vice president of Strategic Investments and Corporate Development for Cambia, "At Cambia we continue to be involved in technologies, such as biosensors, that enable a more person-centric health care system, and change the way we think about value-based care delivery. Collaboration between key thought leaders, like Oregon Bio and TAO, are critical to the long-term success of new digital health models. As a deeply-rooted member of the business community in the Pacific Northwest, we are proud that this collaboration and innovation is occurring in our backyard."
 
The Oregon Bioscience Association advocates for its members and the industry to create opportunity through community, collaboration and commercialization. Oregon Bio promotes the growth and quality of the bioscience industry in Oregon and continually seeks ways to support sustainability and growth in the life-science, bioscience, biotechnology and device manufacturing industries and to create acceleration initiatives so members can achieve their full scientific, economic and social potential. Oregon Bio, a nonprofit membership association, is the Oregon affiliate of BIO, Biotechnology Industry Organization.
 
BIO reported that in 2012 Oregon's jobs in biotech grew faster than most other U.S. markets. The association's most current economic impact study showed that Oregon has 631 bioscience establishments and 13 life-science research institutions generating a cumulative $7.1 billion in economic activity, 36,800 jobs, $1.9 billion in personal income and $273.9 million in local and state tax revenues.
 
TAO is a leader in the technology industry and broader business community. With an expanding network that extends beyond Oregon and SW Washington, TAO connects its members to thought leaders, executives, public officials, entrepreneurs, service providers and investors in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. TAO organizes over 70 events per year, including Leadership Exchanges, Forums, Signature Events, and Partner Events. With exclusive, "closed door" events for executives and a growing number of forums on software development, quality assurance, IT leadership, enterprise architecture, services, marketing, finance, HR, legal and IP, and health and life science IT, TAO offers opportunities for professional and business development for employees throughout its member organizations.

Lloyd Dunlap

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