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NIST, UMBI Host October Conference to Spur Bioscience Innovation

For Immediate Release: August 6, 2008

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Contact: Michael E. Newman
301-975-3025

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) will co-sponsor an international conference on “Accelerating Innovation in 21st Century Biosciences: Identifying the Measurement Standards and Technological Challenges,” Oct. 19-22, 2008, at NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md. The conference goal is to identify and prioritize measurement, standards and technology needs currently creating barriers to innovation—and impeding full realization of the societal and economic benefits of new discoveries in the biosciences.

The conference will focus on:

  • Agriculture—increasing yield, quality and safety in the world’s food supply;
  • Energy—obtaining sustainable energy from biological sources;
  • Environment—understanding our planet through linking molecules to ecosystems;
  • Manufacturing—obtaining higher quality products through better bioprocess measurements; and
  • Medicine—improving health through measurement of complex biological signatures.


The conference is designed to yield a detailed “road map” list of measurement, standards and technology needs that will inform and guide researchers at NIST, as well as others in the measurement and standards communities worldwide.

The conference will open with a session in which policy makers and National Metrology Institute directors from around the globe will discuss priority setting and budgeting for bioscience measurement and standards activities in their respective regions and countries. This will be followed by a series of plenary lectures from bioscience leaders discussing future trends and measurement, standards and technology needs.

Among the notables scheduled to speak at the conference are: John Marburger, director of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy; Lee Hood, president, Institute for Systems Biology; Anna Palmisano, associate director, biological and environmental research, Office of Science, Department of Energy; Stephen Weisberg, executive director, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority; James Thomas, vice president of process and analytical sciences, Amgen Corp.; and Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak, authors of Tomorrow's Table.

For more information and to register online, go to http://www.cstl.nist.gov/Biosciences.html.