Here's an idea for sharing knowledge

Tomorrow Purdue University is hosting a full-day conference-that’s totally free and open to the public–on how bioscience and nanotechnology can be linked. Speakers from Purdue, Northwestern and U of I will talk about current research and discuss how universities can network on this subject.

Oh, and it’s got some heavy-hitter sponsors: Purdue’s Bindley Bioscience Center, Birck Nanotechnology Center, the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (funded by the National Science Foundation), and the Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing (funded by NASA).

What've they got?

German biotech supplier Eppendorf chose Connecticut as the place to build a new manufacturing facility. What areas were considered and rejected?

The CEO of Eppendorf, which is based in Hamburg, Germany, gave these reasons for the choice:  “The Enfield site is closer to the company’s markets, has certain unspecified logistical advantages and less exposure to fluctuations in the currency exchange rate.”

Deadline near for grants for technology in radiology

SCAR, the Society for Computer Applications in Radiology, research grants are open to residents, fellows, and faculty in departments of diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology, or nuclear medicine, as well as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in imaging informatics or biomedical engineering. Residents, fellows, and students must conduct their projects under the guidance of experienced investigators. Recipients do a paper that might be presented at the SCAR Annual Meeting and published in the Journal of Digital Imaging.

Deadline for grant applications for 2005 is September 7, 2004.

Indiana bio hotspot

Paragon Medical, Inc., a medical-device supplier, is undertaking a $50 million expansion that’s expected to provide 300 jobs within five years and boost job prospects in northeast Indiana. The maker of surgical instruments, implantable components and instrument delivery systems for medical device manufacturers in hip, knee, spine, trauma and sports medicine sells directly to orthopedic equipment manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson and Zimmer.

With about 300 workers at its 110,000-square-foot Pierceton operation, this sounds like a company worth investigating…

Late news: here’s a great article about how Paragon is succeeding from the website.

Selling healthcare

If you’re in the business of marketing for the healthcare industry (if you own a medical device or other type of bioscience company, this could be valuable), and your budget can bear a $5700 hit, here’s a class for you, “Strategic Marketing for the Health Care Industry.” The promo says: “Learn innovative strategies, insights, and methods for exceptional results in healthcare marketing…”

Sounds a bit like a crash-MBA course for medical marketers (though it’s clearly a prohibitively expensive proposition for a startup or smaller enterprise). It’s brought to you by The Medical Marketing Association (MMA) in combination with the Health Industry Management Program at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

The course will be held at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL this September 19-24.

One of the big services MMA offers members is the ability to post unlimited numbers of jobs to its website. And there’s the hope–that your company keeps growing and keeps needing to hire more people. Membership is around $200.

Bio outsourcing to India

England’s National Health Service (free medical care to all) may get some competition from–surprise–outsourcing to India. Some English companies are considering exporting services such as testing and analyzing blood and urine samples, while some English citizens are finding they can get less expensive, faster in-person services such as surgical procedures (and that’s with airfare included).  Some are reporting that the medical staff are nicer there, too.

What lessons can the bioscience community learn from outsourcing that other businesses are learning? Is the fragile nature of any new-to-midlife company similar to the fragile personal economy of the individual consumer–who is both personally attracted by WalMart-esque lower prices and yet in the bigger picture often hurt by the loss of jobs they represent? What are the alternatives to crying foul? How else can we think about this trend? Because as sure as there’s an Internet, the trend’s unstoppable.


The bioscience industry faces many of the same challenges as other industries: hard-working entrepreneurs struggling to make it on their own–often afraid to talk to others for fear of competition, stealing employees, etc. But because of the scarcity of resources, it may be that acknowledging interdependence is even more important for those in the bioscience area. So much of what goes on in your area of science will depend on what’s happening in mine, and so on. If you can no longer employ this well-trained chemist, maybe I can. Perhaps a collaborative effort will net greater funding than a single company could expect…

In an effort to change the status quo, Bob Schmidt of Cleveland Medical Devices in Northeast Ohio teamed up with others nearly a year and a half ago to start trying to get members of the sciences connected in this area. The hope was that developing relationships among people in the industry–leaders and players alike–would help change the feelings of isolation.

The resulting organization, fledgling NEOBio, is “dedicated to building a strong bioscience community. It works to foster conditions that favor networking, education, and collaboration,” according to Steve Goldberg, one of the co-founders Schmidt worked with.

But perhaps even more poignantly he said, “People want to help each other, but Americans are afraid to say ‘I need help.'” 

“The risks of starting out in bioscience are incredibly high. The passion of the people who do try is immeasurable—they truly care about saving lives or improving the quality of life. That’s why they hang in there through the really tough challenges.”

We introduce this publication as a contribution to those dedicated people and hope that it will help make a difference.

Looking at how bioscience news affects business, higher education, government – and you and me