Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma BioScience Association Learns from Its Peers

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma BioScience Association Learns from Its Peers

Article excerpt

The newly formed Oklahoma BioScience Association is in its infancy, and in an effort to start off on the right foot, members sought words of advice from those who've been where the organization would like to tread.

On Tuesday, the association's members welcomed representatives of similar organizations from other states in an effort to get off on the right foot.

OKBio was created as a private, not-for-profit statewide membership association with the goal of advancing the bioscience industries through advocacy and other roles.

"This organization was formed within the last six months but it's had a germinating period of several years," said OKBio Chairman Carl Edwards. "It goes back to when the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber first decided to fund a biosciences study by Batelle. We are excited to have a viable organization that (initially) has four years' worth of funding."

Edwards and executive liaison Sheri Stickley hosted the organization's first official open meeting after several organizational gatherings.

C. Robert Eaton, president and chief executive officer of the Arizona BioIndustry Association; Charles Craig, president of Georgia Bio; and Angela Kreps, president of Kansas Bioscience Organization, shared experiences of their state's organizations, which are only a few years old themselves. The group also heard David K. Rosen, head of development and commercial strategic alliances of Pfizer Global Research and Development; and Patrick Kelly, vice president of state government relations for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, speak of bioscience experiences.

In an effort to lure more interest, OKBio is giving small businesses 18 months of free membership. Dues range from $200 for individuals and emerging companies to $4,000 for entities that have more than 101 employees, including large service providers, colleges, research institutions and national companies.

"We're soliciting additional funders who haven't participated," Edwards said. "We have the opportunity to be true leaders as we moved forward. …

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