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Showcasing Mac’s talents on the global stage – BIO 2014

McMaster researchers and Fraunhofer IZI promote BEAM at 2014 BIO Conference

July 2, 2014
By: Lori Dillon


Profiling McMaster’s life sciences talent and technologies and positioning the City of Hamilton as an emerging cluster in the biosciences market, were among the goals for a McMaster-Hamilton delegation attending the 2014 BIO Conference, held last week in San Diego.  The conference – considered the global event for biotechnology – attracted more than 15,000 industry and academic leaders over its four-day run.

The delegation, led by McMaster professors, Jonathan Bramson and John Brennan – was showcasing BEAM – the Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Fraunhofer Project Centre at McMaster University, slated to open next year at McMaster Innovation Park.   Their partners from Germany’s Fraunhofer IZI also attended to promote the new Centre in Hamilton.

BEAM’s focus is on applied research and development in life sciences and biotechnology and its researchers will tackle R&D issues in regenerative medicine, cell therapies and point-of-care diagnostics through engineering and automation.   Ultimately, it will be the start of a new industry around manufacturing: the instruments, systems management tools and sterile environment enclosures that will be required by companies around the world to take on the challenge of personalized cell therapies at the most advanced stages.

According to Bramson, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Translational Cancer Immunology and is part of BEAM’s management team, there’s no better place than BIO to meet with investors and world leaders in the industry.  “BIO, particularly through its partnering initiatives, offers a unique, one-stop shop to meet with the ‘best of the best’ in the business,” he says.

Brennan, also part of BEAM’s management team and Canada Research Chair in Bioanalytical Chemistry and Biointerfaces, couldn’t agree more.  “To have direct access to the industry’s top talent in one place at one time is a rare and enormous opportunity,” he says.   We made some great leads with individuals and companies from around the world and we’re very excited about the follow-up opportunities”

The delegation, which also included representatives from the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development department and McMaster’s Industry Liaison Office, was part of a larger Ontario delegation.