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Quincy looks to open doors to biotechnical industries

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  June 13, 2012 02:57 PM

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With a new video expounding on the virtues of the city and with recently created marketing material, Quincy officials hope to usher in new industry to the city.

It all started last year, when Quincy went to Washingto, DC, to participate in a BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) International Conference, which seeks to bring together more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and related organizations to promote these companies’ goals.

Quincy had a minor role at the conference; yet seeing industries that could have a place in Quincy sparked a desire to become more involved, organizers said.

Since then, city officials have been hard at work preparing for this year’s conference in Boston, which will take place from June 18 through June 21 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Quincy has partnered with the Life Sciences Center, Beal/Street-Works, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Beale Companies, Flatley Companies, and Quirk Enterprises, along with several existing companies in Quincy, in this $70,000 initiative, which will promote the city as the new place to plant company roots.

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Jessica Bartlett

Dean Rizzo, president of the Quincy Chamber of Commerce, speaks about the virtues of expanding the biotechnical industry in Quincy. Behind him, a representative of the industry sits on a desk.

According to Dean Rizzo, president of the Quincy Chamber of Commerce, it’s all about showing off the city as being open for business.

“We will be promoting the city of Quincy,” he said. “We’ll participate in other biotechnical conventions and publications [moving forward].”

State Senator John Keenan, who attended Tuesday’s press conference, agreed that this was the direction Quincy needed to go.

“When you try to build an economy, you need diversity. You have that here in some regard – Quincy Medical Center, banking, education with Quincy College and Eastern Nazarene College…but the promise of the downtown is outstanding, so we’re looking to diversify further,” he said.

Building on industry would not only be good for the city, but would also be good for the region, Keenan said.

Quincy City Councilor Michael McFarland recognized the potential of the biotechnical field and encouraged Quincy to jump on board with that progress.

With space in New Quincy Center, in Crown Colony Office Park, at the Fore River Shipyard, and along the property owned by Boston Scientific, Quincy is poised to take advantage of new industry, said Susan Windham-Bannister, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Science Center.

The Center, a quasi-public agency that seeks to create jobs in the life sciences, is working to implement a $1 billion initiative signed into law in 2008.

Although the Life Science Center is working to showcase Massachusetts as a whole, Pete Abair, director of economic development for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, said no community has embraced this idea as much as Quincy has.

“Quincy has planted its flag and said here we are,” Abair said, noting that Massachusetts as a whole had one of the largest concentration of biotechnology industries worldwide.

According to Mayor Thomas Koch, the inclusion of these industries fittingly accompanies the conversation about Quincy’s redevelopment.

“We’ve spent a lot of time on the downtown, but we also have other large tracts of land,” he said. “The emphasis has much been on the downtown, but recognizing we have other opportunities for other businesses, whether they chose the downtown or they chose the Shipyard or Crown Colony.”

Although the conversation is about Quincy as a whole, the downtown redevelopment definitely helped bring awareness to the South Shore city.

“A lot of us has been here a long time, and [Quincy] is a sleeping giant. When you look at how the city has evolved, you’ve got Boston but Cambridge on the northern side…why not more in Quincy over the years,” Koch said. “Whatever reason, we believe it’s our time now and we’re on the cusp of great things.”

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