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VPTC and VaBIO Announce Membership Agreement; New Biotech Companies Joining VPTC to Receive Free One-Year Membership to VaBIO.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--(BW HealthWire)--June 14, 2002

The Virginia Piedmont Technology Council (VPTC), www.vptc.org, the premier organization for promoting and supporting technology businesses in the Virginia Piedmont region, has announced that it has formed an agreement with the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBIO), Richmond, www.vabio.org, one of the fastest growing state biosciences associations in the U.S., to provide new VPTC biotechnology members a one-year free membership to VaBIO.

VPTC and VaBIO entered the agreement in order to support the region's growing biotechnology industry and to provide a platform for organizing the growing central Virginia biotechnology sector. The agreement is effective June 15, 2002.

"Biotech is a large and growing sector in the Piedmont region," said David G. Kalergis, chair, biotechnology and membership committees, VPTC. "The timing for this agreement is perfect as VPTC was searching for a way to serve its biotech members, and VaBIO was looking to expand into this region. With VPTC's history and regional credibility, coupled with VaBIO's prestige and desire to increase its biomedical presence, a partnership is ideal."

Nearly 30 firms in the Piedmont region account for 20 percent of the statewide biotech community, according to the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development. Even when compared with the biotech activity occurring in Northern Virginia, Richmond, Blacksburg and Roanoke, the Charlottesville area has emerged as a center for biotechnology in Virginia.

"The Charlottesville area is one of the most dynamic biotechnology regions in the state," confirmed Mark A. Herzog, executive director, VaBIO. "With the VPTC-VaBIO agreement we have a great opportunity to compliment one another and provide greater benefits to a growing member base."

VaBIO is closely aligned with all the technology councils across the Commonwealth. But Herzog points out that "this is the first time a partnership with this level of coordination has been formed. It's exciting news for Virginia's tech industry and showcases the future-forward thinking of both organizations."

VPTC was formed four years ago to serve the Piedmont region's growing technology community and recognizes that biotechnology is one of the fastest growing sub-sections of the market. Much of the University of Virginia federal grants ($250 million this year) are earmarked for technology investment. Eighty percent of that grant money will be provided to biomedical research efforts. Eighteen new biotech companies have spun out of UVA in the last few years.

"For a community this size, that growth is significant," said Kalergis. "The new companies will be joined by more companies soon, a result of the money that is being spent in this area."

About VPTC

The Virginia Piedmont Technology Council, founded in 1998, is the voice of technology business, supporting the success of more than 150 member companies in their fields and increasing the recognition of the region as a leader in global technology development and implementation. VPTC is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and services companies in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area, and contiguous counties. Visit www.vptc.org or call 434.817.6300 for more information.

About VaBIO

VaBIO, the Virginia Biotechnology Association was formed in 1992 and incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia as a non-profit association. The Association promotes and serves the biotechnology industry in Virginia, expands the knowledge and expertise of Virginia's businesses concerning biotechnology through seminars, educational publications and other means, to enhance public awareness of the biotechnology industry in Virginia and the scientific, economic and other benefits it provides, and to represent the interests of the industry in Virginia before federal, state and local legislators and regulators. For more information visit www.vabio.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 14, 2002
Words:596
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