Blogging from EuroBio # 1 - The Little City that Could

Well I have successfully landed in Lille, France after an always-encouraging 3-hour flight delay at O'Hare. Fortunately enough this delay was quickly made up by Europe's high speed TGV, and I was off to explore the small city of Lille which is located one hour north of Paris and half an hour south of Belgium (I have a bad tendency to calculate in minutes instead of miles..or km). Lille, France is host to not only the EuroBio Show but is also an established center of engineering education and an upcoming center for biotech manufacturing and research. While Lille has to compete with larger cities in Europe, and of course India and China, the Lille Eurosante Business Park has already attracted 75 biotech companies including GSK Biologicals. (Tune in tomorrow for details on my interview with GSK CEO Ann-Marie Camille). As I headed over to EuroBio, the environment was a bit different than my last BIO experience in Boston. There were no organized chants or protestors clad in hazmat suits. It was a smaller hall, a more intimate group of booths and companies, and I got strange looks when I attempted to use my French. Throughout the day I attended very interesting seminars on stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and bioprocesses. The exchange of ideas from all over the world was interesting, and I will post podcasts from the 'Bioprocesses: design and development of large scale/complex processes' and 'Questioning the efficiency of Drug Regulations: a critical look' soon. Later in the afternoon I and three fellow journalists met with Dr. Camille Locht, Director of Scientific Affairs at the Pasteur Institute in Lille. We unfortunately were not allowed to tour the facilities because their work is 'top secret' but we did get to view the outside and have our questions answered. I will try to post the interview video on the site next week. (am being thrown off the internet since there is only one computer in the EuroBio press room...and it has a European keyboard)..more later. Au Revoir! MV