What’s Happening In The Region
May 28, 2010
200-Plus Scientists Gather At “St. Louis Scientific Talent Open House”: More than 200 science professionals seeking new opportunities in the St. Louis region gathered for a Scientific Talent Open House last Thursday at IT Enterprises. These professionals have re-entered the job market after recession-related restructuring at companies like Pfizer, Monsanto, KV Pharmaceutical, and more. The Open House was sponsored by RCGA, the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, Right Management, the Workforce Investment Boards of the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County, and the University of Missouri’s IT Enterprises.
Pete Kleine of the UMSL-SLU Joint Centers on World Health describes his
transition from Pfizer. Pictured from left in the background are Tom Girard,
Julie Jameson, Vamadu Sheriff and Blair Forlaw of the RCGA.
The headline in Friday morning’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch article by Steve Giegerich captured the goal of this event quite well: “Fitting a plug into St. Louis’ brain drain.” With talent being among our region’s most important economic assets, St. Louis is loathe to lose these skilled and talented individuals. Retaining and re-engaging them in productive new opportunities is a region-wide goal, and one of the priorities of RCGA’s Talent Council.
Among the activities featured at the event were interactive displays on topics such as the emerging economy, social networking for career advantage, web-based job resources, career services, continuous learning and professional certification, volunteering, and entrepreneurship.
The activity receiving one of the highest marks in a follow-up survey of attendees was a panel presentation by 5 individuals who have made successful career transitions after leaving lab positions. They included: Tom Girard of Washington University; Pete Kleine of the UMSL-SLU Joint Centers on World Health; Julie Jameson of Kelly Scientific Services; Ann McMahon, MySci Project Manager with Washington University Science Outreach; and Vamadu Sheriff of Better Family Life, Inc.
The Open House was organized in follow-up to planning meetings convened in January and February by Missouri Department of Economic Development Director David Kerr and the RCGA. It is a part of a coordinated regional response involving multiple businesses, organizations and government groups committed to retaining scientific talent in the region.
May 27, 2010
RCGA Executive Committee Member Dave Steward Selected To Serve On Governor’s Executive Advisory Board For Economic Development: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday announced the “Missouri Economic Growth Strategic-Planning Initiative” designed to forecast and help shape the next 5 years of economic growth in the State.
The Governor visited the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City to name the members of the Executive Advisory Board that will lead the process of developing this 5 year strategy, the timing of which is particularly apropos in light of the soon to be completed regional version of the update to the original industry cluster analysis undertaken by the RCGA in the late 1990s, as well as the work that Market Street Services has been doing since last May, and similar work that has been underway with our economic development colleagues in Kansas City and Springfield.
Market Street has been working with the RCGA for the past 10 months, led by RCGA Chairman for Economic Development Danny Ludeman, President & CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors, to refine the 5 overall industry clusters originally identified back in 2000, representing St. Louis’ competitive strengths, and to sharpen the focus to a handful of very specific and targeted niches within each. These 5 areas where we can quantify demonstrable strengths for the St. Louis region and forecast future growth are: Financial and Information Services; Plant Science and Nutrition; Multi-Modal Transportation Logistics; Medical Science and Services; and Advanced Manufacturing and Technology.
Working with David Kerr, Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, 4 top business leaders will guide the planning process: David Steward, World Wide Technology, St. Louis; Ann Marie Baker, UMB, Springfield; Paul Combs, Baker Implement, Kennett; and Bill Downey, Kansas City Power & Light, Kansas City.
Governor Nixon and David Kerr noted that his planning initiative will identify areas poised for growth and expansion in Missouri, develop strategies and tactics to foster that growth, and will partner with regions throughout the State in pursuit of region-specific aspects of the overall Statewide strategy.
May 26, 2010
Former Virginia Senator John Warner Keynotes “Midwest Energy And Climate Policy Conference” June 8th-10th: For the 4th consecutive year, the RCGA is pleased to be co-sponsoring the Midwest Climate Policy Conference, in partnership with the Regulatory Environmental Group for Missouri (REGFORM), the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Missouri Energy Initiative (MEI), and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 8th, 9th and 10th.
Conference keynote speakers are former U.S. Senator John Warner (R-VA) and AmerenUE President & CEO Warner Baxter, who will speak on energy policy and national security. I will present an update on the St. Louis Climate Prosperity Project on the first day of the conference, including the analysis from the recently-completed Bi-state St. Louis Green Economy Profile and the activities in the RCGA’s St. Louis Green Business Challenge.
The Midwest Energy and Climate Policy Conference will be hosted at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Marriott Hotel at St. Louis Union Station.
This 3-day event will feature industry leaders from across the region and nation to present on:
- federal and state energy priorities
- proposed legislative and regulatory actions
- emerging national security issues
- corporate response to carbon management
- the future of coal, natural gas, and nuclear power
- private sustainability initiatives
- the prospect and analysis of new "green" projects and jobs, and
- the outlook for alternative energy research and initiatives
To view the complete conference brochure please go to: www.REGFORM.org/Energy2010 or contact Roger Walker, Executive Director, REGFORM; Of Counsel, Armstrong Teasdale LLP at email@example.com, or at 573.761.9313.
May 25, 2010
Valuing Family”: Schnuck Family Receives 2009 Citizen Of The Year Award: Schnuck Markets Chairman & CEO Scott Schnuck, 2005-2007 RCGA Chairman, and his siblings -- Craig, Terry, Mark, Todd, and Nancy — and their cousin Stephanie were honored this past Tuesday evening as the 2009 Citizen of the Year award recipients during a special ceremony at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
From left: Craig, Terry, Mark, Todd, Stephanie, Nancy and Scott Schnuck.
The annual Citizen of the Year winner is selected by a committee of the previous honorees. The St. Louis-Post-Dispatch sponsors the award. John McDonnell, the 2008 Citizen of the Year winner, introduced the Schnucks.
This is the 3rd generation of Schnucks to lead the family grocery business. St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets, Inc. was founded in 1939 and has grown into a $2.5 billion company that includes more than 15,000 associates in 106 stores. The grocery store chain operates stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee and Mississippi.
In his remarks on Tuesday evening, Scott noted that the company has had to reinvent itself many times to keep up with consumer and market trends. "It has been our key to survival and prosperity against forces that are much larger than our resources," he said. In a similar vein, St. Louis leaders need to work to move the city forward, he added.
"I ask all of you good people — of great vision — to take a minute and visualize the Arch, turned on its side like a magnet — drawing in successful enterprises, young families and new opportunities," he said. "We must not settle for revitalization. We must aim for reinvention."
Please click on this link to read Scott’s speech in its entirety.
May 24, 2010
“St. Louis BioBelt” In The Spotlight As International AgBiotech Leaders Gather Here To Highlight Cutting-Edge Technologies & Ag-Bio Commercialization Opportunities: Companies pushing the frontiers of agricultural technology around the globe – Malaysia, New Zealand, India, and United Kingdom, as well as from across North America – are converging in St. Louis today and tomorrow to present the latest developments and commercial ventures in ag-bio, food and nutrition, biofuels, sustainable materials, clean-tech, information technology and animal health.
Spotlighting commercial investment opportunities, the 2nd annual Ag Innovation Showcase is bringing together top leadership in ag science and business at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. RCGA and St. Louis Commerce magazine are pleased to be among the sponsors of this program again this year.
Seventeen companies selected through a rigorous competition will present next generation technologies to an elite audience of venture capitalists, individual investors, and industry experts focused on commercial plant-tech growth.
“As a prime relationship building opportunity for entrepreneurs, companies and investors, the Ag Innovation Showcase is designed to stimulate strategic deals, partnering opportunities and collaborative business ventures in the plant science and agriculture markets,” noted Sam Fiorello, President of BioResearch and Development Growth (BRDG) Park, an Ag Showcase sponsor. Located on the campus of the Danforth Plant Science Center, BRDG Park, which opened the first of three buildings in June 2009, helps emerging plant science and clean tech companies bridge research, resources and relationships to achieve commercial success.
“This year’s selection of winning business plans represent some of the most promising businesses in the plant-tech space across a broad range of industry sectors and geographies,” Sam added.
Presenting companies and their technologies span the spectrum of leading edge agriculture-based commerce challenges worldwide – renewable energy, crop and livestock productivity, nutrition, water technologies and much more. Please click here for in-depth background and details on the 17 presenting companies.
May 21, 2010
NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman Featured At Regional Arts Commission 25th Anniversary Event On Friday, May 21st: Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and a native of St. Louis, will be the Regional Arts Commission’s featured speaker at its 25th anniversary gala, entitled, “RAC Rocks On: Celebrating 25 Years of Supporting Arts & Culture", from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 21st at the Arts Commission offices at 6128 Delmar Boulevard.
Since its founding in 1985, the RAC has been a major cultural catalyst in the St. Louis area, providing financial, technical, promotional and other support for arts organizations. Landesman, who was born and raised in St. Louis, is a former successful Broadway theatrical producer who took the helm at the NEA in August 2009. The event on May 21st will be his first appearance at a public event in St. Louis. Over the past 25 years, the RAC has awarded more than 5,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to non-profit and cultural organizations of all sizes.
Under the leadership of RAC Chair Donna Wilkinson and RAC Executive Director Jill McGuire, the Regional Arts Commission has made many outstanding contributions to the cultural and artistic fabric of the St. Louis region.
For more information about the “RAC Rocks On: Celebrating 25 Years of Supporting Arts & Culture", from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 21st at the Arts Commission, please contact Regional Arts Commission Director of Marketing Diane Kline at 314.863.5811.
May 20, 2010
Missouri Legislative Session Concludes With Very Few Bright Spots, A Number Of Missed Opportunities To Rebuild State’s Economy: The 2010 session of the Missouri General Assembly that ended on Friday evening was one of the most challenging in modern memory. As the session unfolded, it became more and more clear just how difficult the State’s budget situation has become. In the face of unprecedented statewide revenue shortfalls, the business community applauded the fortitude shown by Governor Nixon and the Legislature in dealing responsibly with this situation.
On the other hand, we were disappointed that our government officials were not able to agree on a number of forward-looking proposals that could have significantly helped rebuild the State’s economy and put Missouri back on a path to job and revenue growth. Bottom line: the State simply cannot budget-cut its way back to prosperity – it must make critical, targeted investments in innovation and job creation, as most other competing states are doing, despite their grappling with the same national recession that confronts Missouri. In fact, there was an opportunity this year to pass the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA), which would not have adversely impacted current State general revenues at all, but would have begun to dedicate a portion of the future growth in wages from science and innovation fields to reinvest in entrepreneurial growth and commercialization of advanced technologies. Also, there was an opportunity to pass proposal developed by RCGA and its chamber and economic development partners throughout the State, called the “Grow Me State” initiative, which includes a Proof of Concept small business loan program to stimulate the development and growth of high-tech entrepreneurial companies. And finally, there was an opportunity to pass Missouri Department of Economic Development Director David Kerr’s proposal for “Show Me Fund” projects, which would position Missouri much better in the competition with other states for job creation by allowing refundable “up front” tax credits under the Missouri Quality Jobs and BUILD programs.
But none of these opportunities to establish economic and entrepreneurial development tools were taken, in large part because all such economic development proposals were sidetracked by an all out assault on some of Missouri’s most effective and proven economic development/job producing tax credit incentive programs. The challenging budget environment this year led several long time “anti-tax credit Senators” and the Governor to target existing tax credit programs as potential sources of funding, despite the ironic fact that most of these economic development tax credit programs return far more money to the State than they cost. While the RCGA fully understands the very challenging nature of the State’s current budget situation, we strongly opposed illogical efforts to cripple proven economic development tax credit programs that create jobs and leverage substantial private investment, and we will continue to do so.
One bright spot this Session was passage of PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing, which is a voluntary program that enables residential and commercial property owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to their buildings through an incremental voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. The RCGA supported this legislation as an important component of the “green savings” aspect for both businesses and residents of the overall regional Climate Prosperity Project.
The focus of the Climate Prosperity Project is to help move the St. Louis region toward a greener economy, where increases in sustainability are coupled with increases in jobs and business growth. St. Louis is one of 4 national Pilot regions in the Rockefeller Brothers Fund national Climate Prosperity Project --- along with Silicon Valley, Portland and Denver. A just-completed economic analysis by Collaborative Economics, Inc. documents that there are already 9,0000 core green economy jobs in the bi-state St. Louis region, which have grown in recent years by 54%, with over 1,000 core green jobs having been added to the region in the past 2 years.
May 19, 2010
RCGA Partnering With Ford Motor Company, St. John’s Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital On Auto Safety Event Monday, May 24th: The RCGA is pleased to partner with Ford Motor Co. and St. John’s Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital to showcase the future of automobile safety, on Monday, May 24th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at St. John’s Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, 14561 North Outer Forty Rd. in Chesterfield. This program is part of the overall American Society for Quality World Conference at America’s Center, May 24th through 26th, that will feature Ford Motor Co. President & CEO Alan Mulally and a host of other speakers. More than 1,500 attendees and exhibitors have registered for next week’s conference.
Ford executive Matt Hickam and Ford safety technology marketing representatives will be on hand at St. John’s Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital to conduct demonstrations of Ford’s suite of safety technologies and innovations, including the world’s first rear inflatable seat belts.
Ford Motor Co. President & CEO Alan Mulally
For more information about the automobile safety program at St. John’s Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital on Monday, May 24th, please click on this media advisory.
May 18, 2010
“St. Louis Scientific Talent” Open House This Thursday, May 20th: As part of our region’s continuing commitment to retaining science and technology talent, RCGA is partnering with the State of Missouri Division of Workforce Development, Right Management, and other public and private sector organizations to sponsor an Open House for transitioning science and technology professionals this Thursday morning. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at IT Enterprises, 4633 World Parkway Circle (off Natural Bridge Road near the University of Missouri at St. Louis). This will be an activity-packed program to connect talented people with information, ideas, contacts and inspiration so that they can land new opportunities here in the bi-state region.
Kicking off the morning will be a “Network with the Scientist” event in which scientists representing a number of interesting projects in the region will discuss their work in informal roundtable dialogues. Participating scientists include: Dr. Mark Buller with the Doisy Research Center at Saint Louis University; Dr. Jingyue Liu with the Center for Nanoscience at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; Dr. Pete Kleine with the joint UMSL-SLU Centers for World Health; Dr. Jason Books with Sigma-Aldrich; Dr. Mitchell Halpern with UMSL’s IT Enterprises; Stephanie Regagnon of the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center; and Dr. Matt Dimmic of Divergence.
In addition to the scientific discussions, participants will hear individual stories from St. Louis area science professionals who made difficult but successful transitions into new jobs that turned out in many cases to be even better than what they had before.
Other features of the open house include:
- The Emerging Economy – Hear the latest data on economic trends from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center and the St. Louis RCGA
- Social Networking for Career Advantage – Learn how to get your name in front of the right people using electronic networking tools, and receive a 5-minute LinkedIn profile “tune-up” from St. Louis Job Angels
- Web-based Career Resources – Watch demos on career resources available on the Internet. Bring your resume on a thumb drive and we’ll load it into our electronic talent portfolio for business
- Career Services – Take advantage of a free 15-minute resume review from Right Management professionals and find out what’s available for displaced talent from the Missouri Career Centers
- Continuous Learning Resources – Meet representatives of colleges, universities, and non-traditional learning programs in the region, and find out what’s new in continuous learning and credentialing for science pros
- Volunteering – Consider opportunities to volunteer in the St. Louis area, expanding your resume of experience, and giving back to the community
- Resources for Entrepreneurs - Find out what’s available from the experts at SourceLink St. Louis, who have the most comprehensive listing of resource programs supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Area employers are encouraged to join the session.
For more information, please contact Blair Forlaw, RCGA Vice President for Regional Talent Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314.444.1149. Pre-register today at www.bouncebackstl.org
May 14, 2010
"St. Louis BioBelt" In The National Spotlight At Upcoming Ag Innovation Showcase: Commercial investment opportunities and scientific advances from around the world in ag-bio, food and nutrition, biofuels, sustainable materials, clean-tech, information technology and animal health, will be on center stage at the Ag Innovation Showcase on Monday and Tuesday, May 24th and 25th, at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the worlds largest independent plant science research institute. RCGA and St. Louis Commerce magazine are pleased to be sponsors of this program again this year.
Among the host of presenters this year are Dr. Bryan Willson, Director of the Clean Energy Supercluster at Colorado State University, and Dr. Jerry Caulder, Executive Chairman of Finistere Ventures, a life-science investment company based in San Diego. Keynote presentations and panel discussion topics will span the spectrum of current ag science and industry issues, with special attention to developing ideas and opportunities related to agriculture as a key component of solving long-term energy issues.
A special feature of the program will be presentations to investors and industry experts by the 17 entrepreneurs who were winners of a recent Global Business Plan Competition. This years selection of winning business plans represents many promising businesses in plant-tech across a wide range of industry sectors and geographies.
Keynote Speakers & Panelists:
- As the opening speaker, Dr. Willson - named in 2009 as one of the Scientific American 10 by Scientific American magazine for guiding science to serve humanity on a global basis - will document encouraging evidence for large scale solutions for global energy needs, from nutritional and specialty chemicals in as little as 3 years to algae to biofuels as a global fuel supply within 5 years.
- Often referred to as the father of agriculture biotech, Dr. Caulder will focus on the critical importance of providing capital for basic science and technology to drive commercial development and high paying jobs. As executive chairman of Finistere Ventures, Dr. Caulder directs a leading life science venture capital fund, building on successes in early venture investment activity, commercial development and introduction of all new agricultural products during 15 years at Monsanto earlier in his career.
- In addition to keynote addresses by Dr. Caulder and Dr. Willson, panel discussions will feature an elite group of leading agribusiness and life science companies and institutional investors, including Ron Meeusen, Managing Partner, MidPoint Food & Ag Fund, LLP; Andrew Williamson, Director, Physic Ventures; Derek Norman, Investment Manager, Syngenta Ventures; Atish Babu, Vice President, Nexus Venture Partners; David Fischoff, Vice President Technology Strategy, Monsanto; Miguel Oliveira, Director of Global Innovation, Bunge; and Jake Tarr, Founder and Partner, Kinetic Ventures.
For reservations and more information about the Ag Innovation Showcase on Monday and Tuesday, May 24th and 25th, please visit www.agshowcase.com.
May 12, 2010
St. Louis Delegation Returning From Stuttgart Economic Development Trip: RCGA Senior Vice President for Economic Development Steve Johnson returns from participating in a business delegation led by Mayor Francis Slay to Stuttgart, Germany in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the City of St. Louis’ sister city relationship. Stuttgart's Lord Mayor Wolfgang Schuster led a delegation to St. Louis three weeks ago, when he threw out the first pitch for the 20 inning game against the New York Mets.
Like St. Louis, Stuttgart is a region of some 3 million with a rich history in auto manufacturing and a strong presence in aerospace expertise, as well. It is home to both Porsche and Daimler AG, along with leading technology companies such as Robert Bosch GmbH, the world's largest supplier of automobile components, and the TRUMPF Group, a $3 billion global company. Its business divisions include machine tools/power tools, laser technology/electronics and medical technology.
Coming out of this weeks’ trip are plans for a business delegation from Stuttgart to visit St. Louis in mid-November. In addition to Steve, other members of the St. Louis delegation in Stuttgart included Tim Nowak, Executive Director of the World Trade Center-Saint Louis, and several representatives of the Stuttgart Sister City Committee.
May 11, 2010
St. Louis Hosts U.S. Chess Championship: The red-carpet opening ceremony of the 2010 U.S. Chess Championship this Thursday, May 13th, will feature the theatrical premiere of Changing of the Guard: The 2009 U.S. Championship and a ribbon cutting to unveil 10 chess tables in the Old Post Office Plaza downtown. The RCGA and St. Louis Commerce magazine are pleased to once again be sponsors for the U.S. Chess Championship in St. Louis.
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis Founder and President Rex Sinquefield, Mayor Francis Slay and the 24 contenders to the 2010 U.S. Championship crown are among the honored guests on Thursday. The evening will also feature the drawing of the colors (white or black pieces), which determines round one face-offs for the Championship.
Thursday night will conclude with the premiere of Changing of the Guard, a documentary film produced by Spectrum Studios. Changing of the Guard features the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, the first of many elite events held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The documentary film profiles players such as defending champion Hikaru Nakamura, who recently moved to St. Louis to be at the new epicenter of American chess.
The Chess Club And Scholastic Center of Saint Louis was founded in 2007 as a not-for-profit organization to promote the game of chess, with emphasis on promotion of scholastic chess across the entire bi-state region. Impetus for creation of the club came largely from Rex Sinquefield, a retired executive with strong interests in both chess and helping people.
In its first year, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center hosted the most successful U.S. Chess Championship to date. The prestigious 164-year-old tournament took place over 10 days in May 2009 and posted more than $130,000 in prize winnings. It featured the most competitive field in the history of the tournament. The club’s website attracted people from 168 countries who watched games live, kept up with the latest news, and listened to analysis from experts.
The red-carpet opening ceremony event on Thursday evening begins at 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased by clicking the link here.
The 10 chess tables at the Old Post Office will be open to the public.
The full schedule of U.S. Championship events includes daily rounds at 2 p.m. Central time; a live chess game at 12 noon on Friday, May 21st (the players' rest day); Quad Finals from May 22-24; and a $10,000 U.S. Championship Blitz Open on Monday, May 24th.
May 7, 2010
Join Us For RCGA Breakfast With The Gazelles On Tuesday, May 11th, Featuring Lambert Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge: Please plan to join us for the next RCGA Breakfast with the Gazelles featuring Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge on Tuesday, May 11th.
Rhonda’s presentation topic is, “Lambert: Outlook 2010”, providing a fascinating insight into Lambert’s plans for the future. Rhonda announced this past February that Lambert is commencing $50 million in modernization projects, resulting in the largest interior renovation in its history; the main terminal building was built in 1956. Construction will begin this Fall.
Breakfast with the Gazelles is held each month in the Regional Collaboration Center at the RCGA offices on the 13th floor; registration and continental breakfast open at 7:15 a.m., with the program itself running from 8 to 9 a.m. Parking is available in the Met Square garage.
For more information about this and other upcoming RCGA Breakfast with the Gazelles programs, please contact RCGA Vice President for Membership Services Colin Stahlhut at 314.444.1145, or e-mail him at email@example.com.
May 5, 2010
U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt And Missouri Secretary Of State Robin Carnahan To Present At Upcoming RCGA Public Policy Luncheons: The RCGA’s Public Policy Speaker Series on Tuesday morning, May 18th, features Missouri U.S. Senatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO 7th) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., in the Regional Collaboration Center at the RCGA, 13th floor of Metropolitan Square, 211 N. Broadway, downtown. Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan will present on Friday, June 4th, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the RCGA.
Please plan to join us at the RCGA for both luncheon programs, with Congressman Blunt on May 18th and Secretary Carnahan on June 4th. For reservations and more information, please call Sherri Bailey at the RCGA at 314.444.1134, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 4, 2010
Chinese Biotech Delegation Discovers BioBelt In 4-Day St. Louis Business-To-Business Trip: The RCGA hosted the China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) delegation of some 25 biotech companies and investors from throughout China this past week for in-depth meetings with bi-state St. Louis plant and life sciences and other business and governmental leaders. The 4-day St. Louis visit was paired with the delegation touring two other U.S. biotech centers in San Francisco and the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. Members of the CIPA delegation enjoy a brief visit to the Cardinals vs. Braves game at Busch Stadium on Thursday. At right, Dr. Jun Ren, president of Shanghai Newsummit Biopharma Group, speaks at the RCGA.
|Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon addresses the members of the CIPA delegation at Sigma-Aldrich on Friday. Seated far left is Sigma-Aldrich CEO Jai Nagarkatti. Joining Gov. Nixon at the podium is Roger Shapiro of London Export in Beijing. At right, the Center of Research, Technology and Entrepreneurial Expertise’s (CORTEX) Lewis Levey, presents to the delegation at the Stereotaxis headquarters at CORTEX.
|Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, standing, and Midwest China Hub Commission Chairman Mike Jones, center, hosted the dinner at Harry’s Restaurant & Bar on Wednesday evening. At right, Mayor Francis Slay meets with the CIPA delegation in his office on Thursday morning.
|While in St. Louis, the delegation met with regional plant and life sciences leaders, as well as State and local elected leaders, and toured the region’s plant and life sciences institutions. The delegation is attending the annual international BIO Convention this week in Chicago.
During their visit to St. Louis, the CIPA delegation visited a host of venues, such as Washington University, the St. Louis Coalition for Plant & Life Sciences, the BioGenerator, the Missouri Botanical Garden, CORTEX, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, BRDG Park and the Center for Emerging Technologies, as well as being hosted by Express Scripts and CEO George Paz, Sigma-Aldrich and CEO Jai Nagarkatti, BJC Healthcare, Mayor Francis Slay, Hub Commission Chairman Mike Jones, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and Gov. Jay Nixon.
Chinese biotech leaders signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on future collaborations with the RCGA and the Center for Emerging Technologies, BRDG Park, the BioGenerator and the Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences.
These missions represent the business and commercial center component of the “St. Louis Big Idea,” complementing and supporting the proposed Central USA Cargo Hub component of the overall project, in cooperation with the Midwest China Hub Commission. The State of Missouri and the RCGA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CIPA back in March 2008 to jointly pursue business-to-business and economic development opportunities associated with the “Big Idea.” A number of high level delegations since then have traveled to St. Louis and to China to advance these issues.
With regard to the cargo aspect of the “Big Idea,” the recent mission to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Haikou, led by Mayor Francis Slay and 48 Group Club Chairman Stephen Perry, in March 2010, concluded agreements with 4 Chinese airlines and the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) to jointly undertake the feasibility analyses that Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and the Midwest China Hub Commission have underway for establishing the cargo hub. The CAAC is responsible for national civil aviation affairs in China.