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New Ontario biotech council to hold inaugural public policy forum


Toronto, ON – August 25, 2004 – The Biotechnology Council of Ontario (BCO) says it will host a major provincial public policy forum in Toronto on October 18, 2004 at the Toronto Board of Trade. The forum will bring together organizations and individuals from across the biotechnology sector to define strategic policies for this critical economic area of the province.

The BCO’s public policy forum will be a full-day open discussion on the needs, challenges, and advantages of the biotechnology sector in Ontario. The forum will give the Ontario biotechnology industry a rational, transparent, and inclusive policy development process and provide the BCO with its annual “terms of reference” to bring to government. Throughout the day, there will be a series of breakout sessions, as well as featured speakers with specific expertise in public policy formation, development, and implementation. Registration information is available on the BCO’s newly launched website at www.biocouncilontario.com.

Leading up to the forum, the BCO has put in place an open policy development process to seek input on policy initiatives to nurture and strengthen four key drivers of the biotechnology industry: talent/human resources, the regulatory and legal environment, alliances/partnerships, and access to capital.

“The BCO has been able to bring together the diverse groups representing the Ontario biotech community to collaborate on key policy issues,” says Dale Patterson, executive vice president of the Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund and chair of the BCO founding steering committee. “We look forward to developing a comprehensive policy platform at our inaugural forum in October so that we can dialogue with the province of Ontario in a manner that reflects the concerns and interests of our stakeholders,” he adds.