Contact: Di Saunders, OUS: 503-725-5714
Sources: Robert Lanier, Executive Director, OBA: 503-241-7802
               Diane Vines, Vice Chancellor Economic Development & External Relations, OUS: 503-725-5707

Two Oregon Bioscience Groups Merge

Combined strengths, resources will help organizations pursue common objectives

   Portland, March 19 - The Oregon Bioscience Association (OBA) today announced that the Oregon Bioscience 

   and Medical Technology Alliance (OBMTA) has merged with OBA. The merger comes after discussions 

   between the organizations on combining their goals and resources in order to more efficiently move their 

   common agendas forward. 

   "We are very pleased that the leadership of OBMTA has decided to join strengths with OBA," said Robert 

   Lanier, executive director of OBA. "Our shared goals of identifying opportunities for growth in the biosciences 

   and medical technologies fields, and working with higher education to facilitate technology transfer into 

   businesses and jobs, can now be more readily realized, and through a more cost-effective pathway," added 

   Lanier. After the merger, the organizations will now be known collectively as the Oregon Bioscience 

   Association.

   OBA was formed in 1990 to promote the economic development of the biosciences in Oregon by providing a 

   forum for government agencies, business and academia to collaboratively address current and future issues 

   affecting the industry. Providing the formal organization through which the 40 member businesses can work

   together to address the long-term development issues facing biotechnology, OBA has planned and led the

   implementation of a long-term strategy for biosciences development in the state.

   Diane Vines, vice chancellor for external relations and economic development for Oregon University System 

   and an OBMTA founder, said, "Within 5-7 years, bioscience and medical technology will be a major 

   component of Oregon's economy, providing high quality jobs throughout the state. Our merger with OBA will

   help to ensure the successful nurturing of these industries, including strengthening the public-private 

   partnership that will promote the transfer and commercialization of technology between the state's research

   institutions and Oregon companies," noted Vines.

   Founded in 1999 by a group of business, academic and government leaders, OBMTA's primary goal is to 

   establish a world-class research system that includes strong collaboration among industry, universities and

   health-care organizations. A key component of their mission is to recommend incentives and overcome 

   barriers to the growth of the biosciences industries in Oregon, especially utilizing the intellectual assets of the

   state's colleges and universities.

   Nationally, revenues in the broader biotech industry have more than tripled in the last ten years, from $8 

   billion in 1992 to almost $29 billion in 2001. During the same period, employment within the sector doubled, 

   from 79,000 jobs in 1992 to 191,000 in 2001. OBA and OBMTA have both been vital organizations in the state,

   working to ensure that the biosciences industry can continue to grow and be supported by a highly skilled 

   workforce, and collaboration with scientists and researchers.

   The new OBA will maintain a strong presence with the Oregon Council for Knowledge and Economic 

   Development (OCKED), a public-private coalition established by the Legislature that is helping the state build 

   a competitive climate and the asset base required for the knowledge economy. OCKED promotes leadership 

   and collaboration for economic development and investing in issues that drive quality job growth and state 

   wealth creation, such as enhancing Oregon's knowledge-based workforce, commercializing research into 

   profitable business ventures, and accessing capital and business expertise to ensure that new businesses 

   thrive and are retained in the state.

 


   The Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than 

   one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. 

   OUS was the sponsoring organization for OBMTA.

 

   For additional information on OBA, go to www.oregon-bioscience.com; for information on OCKED, go to

   www.ous.edu/cpa/OCKED; for information on Oregon University System, go to www.ous.edu.


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