ANN ARBOR, MI--(Marketwire - June 4, 2012) - MichBio, the biosciences industry association in Michigan, announced that its President & CEO Stephen Rapundalo participated in the White House Business Council and Business Forward briefing held on June 1.
The White House Business Council hosted Dr. Rapundalo and other business leaders from Michigan at the White House to discuss the state of Michigan's business landscape -- what is working, what isn't, and how to get the private sector and government collaborating more effectively to foster greater opportunity, innovation and job creation within the state.
"I am honored to have represented the State of Michigan and our biosciences community," said Dr. Rapundalo. "The briefing was an excellent venue to interface with high-level Administration officials and relay to them the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing our companies. Officials were extremely engaged and well-informed, and most impressively, all had substantial experience in the private sector from a variety of backgrounds. The latter quality was particularly useful in their understanding and addressing matters raised by briefing participants."
The White House briefing covered a range of topics focused around Michigan's business communities specific to the biosciences community. Dr. Rapundalo raised issues like the impending medical device tax, making permanent the federal R&D credit, lowering corporate tax rates to parity with the OECD average, extending and expanding commercialization incentives for companies working in the alternative bio-energy and bio-based technologies space, improving the FDA regulatory landscape in terms of policy transparency and consistency, IP protection in emerging markets as part of broader trade agreements, and creating better access to capital formation to spur innovation and entrepreneurship.
Over the past year, the White House Business Council has hosted meetings with business and civic leaders in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The Michigan briefing featured approximately forty representatives from Flint, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor. Bioscience-related companies in attendance included Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, in Flint who distributes specialty drugs and manages the receiving patients and Ranir LLC in Grand Rapids, a manufacturer of consumer oral care products, as well as Saline Letronics, an electronics supplier to medical device manufacturers.
Administration officials were also keen to better understand the business and jobs climate in our state and communities. The half-day meeting spent a considerable time focused on job creation, workforce development, and economic growth.
"The desire for a consistent and predictable regulatory and tax environment that is not overbearing on business was a universal comment from attendees, as was the ability to attract and retain skilled high-tech talent, as well as workers expert in more traditional manufacturing skillsets," said Rapundalo. "There was general recognition that if the U.S. is to continue to be the global leader in innovation, we must have an emphasis on higher education and specifically, STEM programs, along with a focus on vocational trades to support manufacturing and production processes. The key to our sustained success will be a skilled workforce that is able to be creative and innovate."
About Business Forward
Through Business Forward, America's most respected companies come together to help bring more business leaders into the policymaking process. At the core of Business Forward's activities are a series of roundtables and briefings taking place around the country and in Washington, D.C. In the first half of 2012, more than 2000 local business leaders from 500 cities will travel to the White House to brief the President's economic advisers. For more information, visit www.businessfwd.org.
MichBio is the trade association committed to driving growth in Michigan's biosciences industry and its many sectors, including ag-biotech, food and nutrition, bio-based technologies and renewable chemicals, industrial and environmental biotech, medical devices and equipment, pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare, diagnostics and research products, testing and research services, and clinical research. MichBio members include biosciences companies, academic and research institutions, biosciences service providers, and related organizations. For more information, visit www.michbio.org.