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Massachusetts Life Sciences Center will be part of international collaboration

CHICAGO -- Massachusetts officials were scheduled to hold a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m. (Boston time) Monday at the state pavilion at the BIO convention here to honor the victims of last week’s Boston Marathon bombings.

The moment of silence was to take place exactly one week after the time of the marathon attacks.

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Massachusetts officials also said Monday that they will join with four foreign life sciences regions to launch an international collaborative that will seek to advance research and development into new drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics.

The quasi-public Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which is leading the state delegation at the annual Biotechnology Industry Organization convention here, said it was teaming up with Victoria, Australia; the Wallonia region of Belgium; the Quebec province in Canada; and the Alsace region in France to form the International Collaborative Industry Program.

Companies from these regions are being encouraged to form partnerships with Massachusetts companies and submit project applications that could win between $100,000 and $500,000 in funding from the life sciences center. The center is investing up to $1 billion over a decade in the growth of biotechnology and medical technology industry in the Bay State.

The announcement was made at BIO by life sciences center president Susan Windham-Bannister and Greg Bialeck, the Massachusetts secretary of housing and economic development.

At past BIO conventions, the center struck similar collaboration deals with Israel, Northern Ireland, the Catalonia region of Spain, and Finland.

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