Governor Receives BioTech Award, Here's Why

Jun 7, 2016

Virginia's Governor is being honored for the work he's done to grow the state's biotech industry.
Credit Novartis/Flickr

Virginia’s Governor is in California this week, where he’ll be receiving the ‘Governor of the Year’ award from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

Just how exactly did he earn it? Through the power of the budget. 

The biotech industry covers everything from fertilizers to pharmaceuticals. And the Biotechnology Innovation Organization is a trade association that represents those companies that heat, fuel or feed the world, says Coran Trumbo. 

Trumbo is communications director for the Virginia branch of the organization.

“Most of their members are in research and development, or healthcare, agriculture, industrial and environmental biotechnology,” says Trumbo.

Life science industries employ more than 20,000 people in the state, and account for half of research done at Virginia’s universities.

Trumbo says Terry McAuliffe has been a huge friend to the industry, in the ways only a Governor can be -- through his budget.

“He doubled funding for the agriculture company innovation fund,” says Trumbo. “He essentially wants to help bring more money into ag-engineering.”

He’s also quadruped state funding for an organization that connects biotech research done at universities to the private sector.

This is the first time a Virginia governor has received the award.