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Trade mission connects Alabama firms to Nordic bioscience ecosystem

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield is leading a delegation of Alabama bioscience businesses on a trade mission to this week’s Nordic Life Sciences Days (NLSDays), the largest Scandinavian partnering conference dedicated to the life sciences industry.

The Alabama team, which includes representatives from six bioscience firms, arrived in Copenhagen today and was scheduled to attend an evening reception hosted by Alan M. Leventhal, the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark.

Beginning Tuesday, the group will engage in pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings, tour the region’s dynamic Medicon Valley life science cluster, attend presentations and take part in networking opportunities. The event runs through Thursday.

“Alabama’s robust bioscience industry is plugged into a sweeping range of cutting-edge fields, and we’re committed to helping foster growth in this strategically important sector,” Secretary Canfield said.

“This mission to NLSDays will permit these Alabama companies to make valuable new connections and explore the possibilities of collaborations in the Nordic region,” he added.

Alabama bioscience trade mission
U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Alan Leventhal, center first row, hosted a reception for the Alabama delegation in Copenhagen for a trade mission to the Nordic Life Sciences Day. The team is led by Commerce Sec. Greg Canfield, right, first row.

GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES

Launched in 2013, NLSDays attracts leading decision-makers from biotech, pharma, medtech and more. Organizers says the event creates a unique place to do business by bringing innovative companies together, for inspiration, for partnering, and for global industry growth.

“The NLSDays mission is a critical step in marketing the life science capabilities of Alabama on a global basis,” said Jeremy Blanks, CEO of BioAlabama, a trade group representing bioscience enterprises across the state.

Alabama bioscience companies are the mission are:

  • CytoViva Inc. (Auburn), a provider of state-of-the-art optical and spectral imaging instrumentation
  • Gulf Sterilization Inc. (Mobile), which provides medical device sterilization services using chlorine dioxide gas
  • iRepertoire (Huntsville), a provider of next-generation sequencing of immune receptors and T- and B-cells
  • MRIMath LLC (Birmingham), which provides cloud-based work spaces for image analysis and sharing using AI-aided methods
  • SynVivo Inc. (Huntsville), a provider of tissue and organ-on-chip models for drug development and personalized medicine applications
  • TriAltus Bioscience (Birmingham), which provides a simplified protein purification platform for research applications

Alabama is home to 780 bioscience companies, and the industry has an annual economic impact estimated at $7.3 billion, according to an analysis performed for BioAlabama. Nearly 18,000 Alabamians are employed in life science or biotechnology jobs, with average annual salaries in the industry topping $67,000.

The state’s bioscience sector is growing, with $236 million in new private-sector investment during 2021 and 2022, creating over 740 jobs, according to data from the Alabama Department of Commerce.

ENHANCING PERCEPTION

Alabama trade mission
Commerce Sec. Greg Canfield, who is leading an Alabama delegation at a trade mission in Denmark, speaks at a reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador Alan M. Leventhal in Copenhagen, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.

Christina Stimpson, director of Commerce’s Office of International Trade, said the trade mission represents an opportunity for Alabama businesses to identify new growth opportunities to strengthen the future of their enterprises.

In addition, the mission will serve to enhance the perception of Alabama as a rising biotechnology and life sciences region and highlight its strategic importance in a global world.

“For the Alabama companies, the opportunity to exhibit will introduce their technological capabilities and know-how to key partners in the Nordic region,” Stimpson said.

“This will also generate a greater interest and understanding of the exceptional strengths in Alabama’s bioscience sector.”

NLSDays represents the final overseas trade mission for Secretary Canfield, who is stepping down from his post after 12 years at Commerce to return to the private sector. During his tenure, he has led over 30 trade missions, traversing the world to promote Alabama businesses.

Commerce’s Office of International Trade is a member of the Export Alabama Alliance, a network of agencies that help Alabama companies access foreign markets.

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