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MO biotech council meets for first time

Gov. Blunt speaks at Tuesday's meeting of the Advisory Council for Plant Biotechnology. (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A newly formed council devoted to promoting Missouri's life sciences industry met for the first time today Tuesday in St. Louis.

Members of the Governor's Advisory Council for Plant Biotechnology began by assessing the state's scientific and financial resources. Later, they'll focus on marketing strategies they feel will set Missouri apart from competing states.

Governor Matt Blunt says one thing the state can offer is a predictable regulatory process, "so that an innovator, an entrepreneur - somebody that has an application of research - knows what the regulatory environment is going to be like, knows what those hurdles are - rather than the unpredictable process that seems to exist today all across the country."

The governor says he'd like to see initial recommendations from the council by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the council says the state is in good position to attract investment capital. Dr. Roger Beachey says the council is looking at assets that set Missouri apart from competing states, as well as the role of the Missouri Department of Economic Department: "How are they prepared next to be a catalyst to attract new people, to attract ideas out of universities, out of private companies, to create new companies, small companies; and how to retain companies here."

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