Just weeks after announcing the hire of their first executive director, BIO Alabama announces it’s new board chair and eight new board members. The BIO Alabama board voted and approved Blair King, Manager of Economic Development and Existing Industry for Alabama Power, as its Board Chair. In addition to King, eight industry leaders from around the state joined the organization’s board of directors.
“2019 has been an impactful year for the Alabama bioscience industry,” said Blair King. “Our board, led by Peggy Sammon, CEO of GeneCapture, successfully advocated and supported our members, sponsors, and state in a number of ways,” King adds.
BIO Alabama supported several initiatives including the passage of SB78, the Alabama Innovation Act, which provides an R&D grant program for qualified research expenses in Alabama. They also supported the introduction of BACE (Biotechnician Assistant Credentialing Exam) to prepare lab certification to high school and college students seeking biotech lab employment, and the statewide introduction of MGMWERX, an innovation and acceleration center in Montgomery to support innovation in Air Force applications.
“It was a privilege to serve and represent our industry as the board chair,” said Peggy Sammon. “Blair is an excellent choice as chair. His background in economic development coupled with his passion for growth within the bioscience industry will serve BIO Alabama well.”
This past year, members of BIO Alabama participated in the State’s International Trade Delegation for Life Sciences to Ireland and the UK. They co-hosted the National Security Innovation Summit that brought Department of Defense tech scouts to meet Alabama technology innovation companies. In September, they participated in Senator Doug Jones’ Health Conversations and International Trade discussions to continue to develop a climate for growth and trade import/export for Life Sciences. They also hosted a Life Sciences Boot Camp for startup companies addressing corporate structure, IP, investment and available Small Business services. Lastly, they supported several State and National bills to protect life sciences IP and pricing structure in the medical device legislation.
BIO Alabama’s board is made up of industry representatives, service organizations, and industry thought leaders. Collectively, the mission of the organization is to promote bioscience innovation by creating a favorable scientific, business, and legislative environment that will facilitate the growth of emerging and existing companies, attract new bioscience opportunities to Alabama, and to increase public awareness regarding the potential impact on quality-of-life and the state’s economy.
“BIO Alabama is positioned to provide direction and support to grow the bioscience industry in Alabama,” King said. “With our collective expertise represented on our board and within our membership, we plan to do that by creating a statewide economic development roadmap to grow our industries throughout Alabama and by promoting collaboration through our initiatives.”