Employment in the Triad’s life sciences firms grew 36% from 2005 to 2010. The number of local firms grew by 14% in the same period. Of the state’s 540 biotech companies, 240 call the Triad home. And from 2002 to 2011, the N.C. Biotechnology Center provided nearly $15 million in grants and loans to the state biotech industry.
That growth was a key focus of Triad BioNight 2012, held on March 8 in Greensboro. About 420 people attended. Bob Ingram, a general partner of Hatteras Venture Partners, keynoted the event.
Five Triad leaders were named “Excellence Award” recipients:
• Bill Woodruff, department head of Alamance Community College’s Biotechnology program, won the Academic Development award;
• John Merrill, executive director of the Gateway University Research Park, won the Biotech Service and Support Award;
• Ed Kitchen, vice president of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, won the Community Leadership Award;
• Jerry Barker, founder of Ocular Systems, which processes donor corneas to be used in transplants, won the Entrepreneurial Award; and,
• Azeez Aileru, a professor at Winston-Salem State University and director of the school’s Biomedical Research Infrastructure Center, won the Research and Development Award.