The Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association, a nonprofit trade group for life-sciences enterprises, has opened an office in the Sirti Building on the Riverpoint Campus here.
Chris Rivera, WBBA's president, says the organization, which has just one other office, located in Seattle, has wanted to establish a presence in Eastern Washington to help support its mission to foster businesses derived from life-sciences innovations.
The organization will occupy about 150 square feet of space in the Sirti Building, located at 665 N. Riverpoint here. WBBA will have a staff member on site one day a week, and in exchange for the space, will provide Sirti membership in that organization, says Tim Williams, Sirti's director of administration and finance.
Rivera says WBBA is focused on helping life-science researchers translate their innovations into commercial products, both through direct support and through public policy advocacy.
"We can help them get access to capital when they are looking to become commercial, and help recruit and train and retain the talent needed for our life-sciences companies," Rivera says.
The 450-member organization has, for example, group negotiating power to help member companies obtain employee benefit packages and make laboratory equipment purchases at good prices.
Rivera says the services offered by WBBA complement those offered by Sirti. Sirti assists science entrepreneurs with business planning and proof-of-concept development for their ideas. Once new ventures have completed those stages, WBBA can help them obtain financing and other resources to support commercialization of their products, Rivera says.
Some of WBBA's members are located in Eastern Washington, including larger entities that also support such businesses, including Sirti and Washington State University, as well as life-sciences companies here such as Signature Genomic Laboratories LLC and Commercial Creamery Co., Rivera says.
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