Biden Discusses Role of Biotech in Job Growth
|Vice President Biden addresses the crowd at Wake Forest Biotech Place.|
By Jeremy Summers, NCBiotech Writer
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Technology and innovation are likely to play a pivotal role in repairing the economy. That is why Vice President Joe Biden was in Winston-Salem on Wednesday, speaking about the role that biotech and other knowledge-based industries have in both the current and future economic landscape.
"We not only need to create new jobs, we need to create new industries," said Biden.
The speech was part of a campaign stop to highlight efforts by the Obama administration to create jobs. Biden spoke about the resiliency of American workers and their ability to innovate new technologies, despite tough economic times. Biden explained that this type of adaptability was “the history of the journey of this country.”
“Never have Americans failed to adapt and to lead,” said Biden, in pointing to the future of the American economy residing with new and innovative industries, such as biotech.
Biden spoke to about 600 people at the Wake Forest Biotech Place, which is part of the Piedmont Triad Research Park. The newly renovated facility, which opened in February, comprises two former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. buildings. The building’s transformation is symbolic of North Carolina’s economy, which has transitioned from traditional industries, such as tobacco, to knowledge-based industries that are driving growth today.
According to Graydon Pleasants, In-house Developer for PTRP, Biotech Place allows “both startups and established companies to develop biotechnology products for the 21st century.” The new facility, Pleasants said, is “the embodiment of our goal to transform our traditional economy to a knowledge economy.”
That sentiment was echoed by Phil Shugart, president of Carolina Liquid Chemistries, who introduced Biden. Shugart’s company was the first private biotech company to move into Biotech Place and is helping to attract other companies to the research park.
Shugart mentioned that his family, tobacco growers going back many generations, had for many years brought their tobacco to be traded and auctioned at the building that is now Biotech Place.
The industries that used to drive North Carolina’s economy, like tobacco, have given way to technology and innovation that drives current and future industries, like biotech.
As Shugart explained, this kind of transition is the answer for sustainable growth in our state, adding that “innovation and job growth are alive and well in the Triad.”