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From June 9 to 10, the Belgian Economic Mission to the USA, led by HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium, representing the His Majesty the King, will be in Boston, Massachusetts for contacts with businesses and public officials in order to explore opportunities to strengthen the strong and cordial partnerships between Belgium and the United States.
Famous for its innovative solutions, creative thinking and commercial success stories, Boston is the place-to-be for entrepreneurs. Just like Belgium, it is also a center for culture and education, a place where prestigious universities, biotech companies, and ambitious startups have strong ties with their transatlantic counterparts. Brimming with unique discussions and exciting talks, the Boston program of the Belgian Economic Mission shares the goal to maintain and foster Belgian-American ties.
HRH Princess Astrid will be accompanied by a ministerial delegation with Federal Minister in charge of Foreign Trade David Clarinval, Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon, Walloon Vice-President Willy Borsus, and Brussels Secretary of State Pascal Smet.
Here is a brief look at a selection of the events scheduled for June 9-10:
Princess Astrid and the official delegation will have bilateral meetings with the Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, and Mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu.
Massachusetts – Belgium, Celebrating Leadership in Offshore Wind Energy Development (June 9)
Much like Belgium in Europe, Massachusetts is playing a frontrunner role in offshore wind energy development. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will introduce a panel debate, that will match experience from local government, developers, supply chain and local talent with the expertise from Europe. Special attention will be given to the example his state is setting for the rest of the US.
Ryan Dings (Chief Operating Officer of Greentown Labs) and Ralph Moreau (Science and Technology Counselor - Climate Tech of FIT) will open the debate, and subsequently give the floor to Governor Charlie Baker (MA) and Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon. The keynote speech will be delivered by CEO of Vineyard Wind, Klaus Moeller. Finally, the opening of the panel debate will be concluded with milestone signings of contracts. The event will be attended by Princess Astrid, Federal Minister in charge of Foreign Trade David David Clarinval and CEO of DEME, Luc Vandenbulcke.
R&D visit at Takeda’s US headquarter (June 9)
Takeda is a Japanese, patient-focused and R&D-driven global biopharmaceutical company, with its US headquarter located in Massachusetts. It hosts one of Belgium’s largest bio-manufacturing plants, in the town of Lessines (Hainaut, Belgium), with over 1,200 employees. The Belgian Takeda site has grown, since its creation in 1972, to over 18,000 square meters of building surface and operates 24/7. It is a flexible plant for purification and serves as a packaging center for immunology and hematology treatments.
The R&D visit will highlight the value of plasma derived therapies, the role of Belgium as a bio-pharmacy hub, and the incredible journey of pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing. Furthermore, it will emphasize and encourage the importance of plasma donation. Key speakers are Giles Platford (President of Canada and Europe Business Unit for Takeda) Kristina Allikmets (Senior Vice President, Head of R&D, Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit), Stefaan Fiers (Head of Corporate Communication, Public Affairs and Patient Advocacy at Takeda Belgium), and Geoffrey Pot ( General Manager Operations Takeda Lessines). The event will also schedule a meet & greet with both a donor and a patient.
Opening Life Science Day: Belgium, the health and biotech valley of tomorrow (June 10)
For many years now, the Belgian life science and pharma industry, including R&D, has been internationally celebrated for its know-how. All three Belgian Regions have major players in the sector which represents considerable trade flows between both Belgium and US.
The Life Science event aims at displaying Belgian know-how to the Massachusetts life science industry and vice versa, fostering Belgian and US partnerships in the sector, creating an opportunity for innovative startups to have contact with business accelerator programs, and highlighting Wallonia’s rise in biotech and med-tech innovation, as well as the untapped potential to position the region at the center of excellence in bio manufacturing. Walloon Vice-President Willy Borsus will open Life Science Day. Other key speakers are Joe Boncore (CEO of Mass Bio ), Yves Verschueren (Managing Director of Essenscia), Tineke van Hooland (Deputy Secretary General at Bio.be, Essenscia), John Baekelmans (Science & Technology Counselor - Flanders Investment and Trade), and Marc Deschamps (Director of International Affairs BioWin).
The program in Boston concludes the Belgian economic mission to the USA.
The full program and all useful information about the Belgian economic mission to the USA are available on the following website: https://www.belgianeconomicmission.be
During the mission, the program can be followed on social media under the hashtag #BEmissionUSA.
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