From the Board Chair
Thanks to everyone who made the recent Vermont Biosciences Alliance Forum a great success! I would particularly like to thank the panel speakers, the companies and organizations who set up displays, and importantly, Ms. Susan Fayette, our Administrative Director. Susan put the event together and made sure it ran smoothly. And finally, I’d like to thank all our members and other attendees who came to learn more about the future of the Vermont biosciences industry.
One of the important topics of the discussion panel was the critical role of UVM to the success of the bioscience industry. Over the years, UVM has made important strides in streamlining technology transfer. Recently, the Shumlin Administration has released a report that acknowledges the importance of the university to the economy of the State and suggests ways to strengthen the relationship between the two.
In the coming year, I hope the VBSA will discuss this report and consider its expected direct effect on the Vermont biosciences industry. As a growing industry responsible for positive economic effects in many states across the country, I do have some questions on how doubling the engineering program, but not the biological and medical sciences programs, will be a plus for Vermont bioscience companies. I’m particularly curious about how this will help our industry given the comparatively low financial contribution by the state to the university. One thing I do know is that there can be no high tech bioscience industry in a state without, not just strong, but world-class university research. I hope this becomes clearer as I learn more.
And finally, I am saddened to mention the recent passing of Mr. Tom Teel. Tom was the Research Facilities Specialist in the Pathology Department at UVM for many years. Medical science requires people along the entire spectrum―deans to lab techs―and there would be no medical science anywhere without people like Tom who spend their lives making sure our laboratories are maintained, properly equipped, and modern. Tom was a great person and incredibly helpful to me and others through the years. His contribution to the entire bioscience enterprise in Vermont often went unnoticed except for those of us who needed his knowledge and help. There is no way to replace someone like Tom. The VBSA wishes his family well.
As always: please contact me if you would like to be more involved with our organization. I wish everyone a warm and remarkable holiday season!
Bill Church, Co-Chair VBSA Board of Directors