What do these products all have in common?Antibodies for the diagnosis of cardiovascular and infectious diseases,Microscope imaging systems to help researchers find cures to devastating diseases such as Alzheimer s, Parkinson s and Autism,Diagnostic test devices for the prevention of heart attack, stroke and the complications of diabetes,Precision optics to help diagnose cancers and assist genetic research,Infusion syringe pumps for automated medication delivery.All are made by Vermonters who are launching the new Vermont Biosciences Alliance. These products come from just a few of over 100 companies and researchers in this diverse, innovative and rapidly growing sector of Vermont s economy.Governor Douglas will join the first gathering of the Vermont Biosciences Alliance in June. This kick-off event will be on Tuesday, June 23rd at the new Vermont Campus of the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on Water Tower Hill in Colchester from 4 7 pm.Along with the Governor s participation, leaders of bioscience businesses and research in Vermont will discuss their Top Ten lists of do s and don ts for bioscience business and research ventures. Topics include developing angel funding, building industry relationships to fund research, commercializing your intellectual capital and challenges of growing a successful biotechnology-based business.The event is free to anyone interested in the growth of biosciences whether you are in bioscience and life science business, research or the public sector, you are welcome. The gathering includes a reception with Governor Douglas plus leaders from the legislature and Vermont s Congressional delegation. This is a great opportunity to meet Vermont s leaders and get to know many people from Vermont s vibrant bioscience community.Attendance is limited to the first 100 people who register in advance. For more information and to register for this free kick off event go to the Vermont Biosciences website: vtbiosciences.orgThe Vermont Biosciences Alliance was formed to support the growth of biosciences, medical technologies and life science business and research ventures in Vermont. Goals and activities will focus on developing networks, building connections and launching initiatives to support growing businesses, research and education in Vermont. As Chris Coulter of Adaptive Engineering, LLC noted, Because they are often FDA regulated or otherwise similar industries, Vermont s medical, life science and bio-technology companies have similar needs and interests. By working together we can help meet the challenges of our industry while increasing business opportunities. The Vermont Biosciences Alliance can initiate and facilitate good business connections. For example, as a product design and development engineer, I have been able to incorporate components produced by coating specialists Chroma Technology in Rockingham into a medical instrument design from Stromatec, Inc. in South Burlington.Since establishing a steering committee to develop this new organization in February, the Alliance has begun initiatives to support the growth of bioscience companies and research in Vermont. Two examples are:Building awareness with VT s Leaders: Meetings were held with Governor Douglas, Lt. Governor Dubie and Senate President Pro Tem Shumlin to highlight the growth potential of bioscience business and research in Vermont. Examples of the positive results produced by the biosciences in Vermont and other states continue to be discussed. These leaders have been very receptive and supportive of growing bioscience research and business. Several will participate in the June 23rd Kick-off event.Legislative action: Two members of the Alliance s steering committee testified before legislative committees in support of the Entrepreneur s Seed Fund legislation. This seed fund will provide funds to support the launch and growth of innovative, high potential companies in Vermont. Alliance members also held meetings with individual legislators and provided information on how the seed funds could be implemented and managed effectively in Vermont. As examples of the positive results, over 600 new jobs were created in Maine during the first five years of its seed funds. Total economic benefits in that state have been fifteen times initial investment made by Maine in these seed funds. This legislation has passed and Vermont s seed fund will likely begin with at least $2 million in investment funds from the federal stimulus program. This fund is expected to grow to $10 million within five years through significant private investment. The private investments will be supported by a tax credit for investment in this fund.Industry and research survey: Listening to the perspectives of biosciences people is central to serving the bioscience business and research community in Vermont. Currently the Alliance is surveying the leaders of bioscience businesses and research activities throughout the state. The survey goal is to learn much more about needs of this diverse economic sector that includes medical and life sciences, medical technologies, environmental engineering, and agriculture. Bioscience leaders are encouraged to visit the Alliance s website and complete the survey (vtbiosciences.org). Results from the statewide survey will be presented at the June 23rd event.Developing a network: You can join with bioscience people from all over Vermont for the first large gathering offered by the Vermont Biosciences Alliance. There are many of us and it s time to meet, support each other, and work together to build a dynamic, sustainable industry in Vermont!For more information and to register for the June 23rd event, just go to the Vermont Biosciences website: vtbiosciences.org.