Experts talk about biotech industry’s future in Athens area

14 09 2008


Athens Banner-Herald

Biotechnology, as Wikipedia defines it, represents technology based on biology – biological systems, living organisms or derivatives of those biological forms – especially when it’s used for making or modifying products or processes in agriculture, food science and medicine.

Many local business leaders, government officials and University of Georgia associates view biotechnology as one key to future industrial growth here. Private companies in Athens and startup ventures nurtured by a bioscience “incubator” at UGA have formed a biotechnology base with the potential to develop a strong economic development strategy for this area and the state.

Athens already has UGA’s Georgia Biobusiness Center and Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, which fosters biotech companies like Abeome, AviGenics and Bacterial Barcodes. On a statewide level, the Georgia Research Alliance is funding efforts to help emerging biotech firms grow.

Athens Banner-Herald Associate Editor Don Nelson sat down with Frank Milward, senior director of research and development for Merial animal pharmaceuticals; Margaret Wagner Dahl, director of business and economic development at the University of Georgia; David Lee, vice president of research at UGA; and Mike Wanner, chief executive officer of biotech companies Oncose Inc. and Abeome Corp. to talk about the prospects for growth in the biotechnology field in Athens and Northeast Georgia.

Read the interview here.