An early-ish start this morning to head out to the Research Triangle Park proper to visit the North Carolina Biotechnology Centre (where we will be tomorrow again). Unfortunately Iyad’s rental car’s battery was completely flat, so we had to cab it out, which was a shaky beginning! The meeting itself was very interesting though, especially on the way that North Carolina has identified the need to look at the chain of biotechnology not just elements. You’re never going to build a biotech industry by neglecting research, your research won’t mean much without tech transfer and none of it means anything without looking at the public implications. All ideas to build on in discussions there tomorrow.
I had a bit of a break during the middle of the day, which I used for errands (sending literature back to EF house in Philadelphia, going for lunch at the Raleigh institution that is Big Ed’s!). Then we all headed out to SAS, the analytical and software company. We touched on some interesting issues, but I did wish I could have had time with their Chief Technology Officer on my own to talk over some of the issues relating to tech transfer (and the Bayh-Dole act, which you’re all very familiar with now!). But it was one of those occasions where you don’t want to hog the conversation (yes I sometimes think about that!). The best bit of the whole day though as visiting a working quarry on the way back – we stopped in and their sales manager showed us around. It was amazing! Not least from a geology perspective – you don’t often get to see huge rock faces like that. and certainly not going so deep. Fantastic (as David would say).
Dinner with the alumni fellows from North Carolina tonight. Some really nice people, and some interesting conversations had. Now it’s time to pack those suitcases again, as we’re shipping out tomorrow and heading to St Louis. Just call me Judy Garland! And think of poor Gil who will be subjected to my driving!