* Gov. Pat Quinn said yesterday that he’s planning to lead a trade mission to Asia this September…
The itinerary includes stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo, he said.
Mr. Quinn met with State Department officials earlier [yesterday] to discuss the trip, which will run from Sept. 16-28, according to an aide.
The governor mentioned the trip when he was asked what initiatives his administration was planning to help the biotechnology industry in Illinois. But an aide said the trade mission is aimed at helping a broad spectrum of Illinois businesses. The state hasn’t started lining up companies to participate yet, the aide said. […]
In January, Illinois signed an agreement with the Beijing International Brand Management Center to promote Illinois products and services in China. China is the state’s third-largest export market, and Illinois is one of the top five agricultural exporters to China.
Gov. Jim Thompson made several productive visits to Asia. Gov. Jim Edgar also traveled to China in 1996. I’ve already put myself on the press list for the excursion, although I’m not sure I’ll be able to do any live-blogging if I do decide to make the trip. A friend told me last year that the Chinese blocked access to this website during his trip. I’m not sure why. I guess I’ll have to check on that if I go.
* In other news, the governor received a major business award yesterday…
A national biotechnology group has named Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn its “governor of the year.”
The Biotechnology Industry Organization presented the award to Quinn on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes leadership and support of the biosciences industry.
The group cites Quinn’s support for tax credits for investment in new business ventures and for small businesses that create jobs.
A whole lot of companies are at that convention, billed as “the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry.” The group has 1,100 corporate members, so I understand why Quinn went. I just hope he was working on the budget during the plane ride.
Also, so he’s now Governor BIO as well as Soy Boy? OK.
* Closer to home, this corporate siting decision will be interesting to watch…
Ready-mix concrete company Ozinga Bros. is considering building a cement plant on Chicago’s Southeast Side, but it also has been wooed by Indiana officials to locate the plant in that state.
Building the $250 million plant would create almost 100 jobs and secure a more reliable supply of cement for Ozinga, Marty Ozinga IV, executive vice president of the company’s Chicago division, said Wednesday.
Construction of the plant could start sometime next year, but Mokena-based Ozinga Bros. is waiting on approval of its plans from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
The plant would be off Torrence Avenue at Lake Calumet. The site, which was a former Cargill grain elevator, was bought by Ozinga Bros. in 2004, Ozinga said.
Ozinga ran for Congress as a Republican a few years back. He was soundly thumped by Debbie Halvorson.
* This is a typical DC maneuver, but it has an Illinois twist…
A billion-dollar “technical revision” added to a patent bill passed by the House last week could provide huge financial benefits to one pharmaceutical company and a law firm.
On the surface, the barely noticed amendment simply clarifies a process by which the Food and Drug Administration approves a patent for a brand-name drug, and gives the manufacturer 60 days to apply for an extension with the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.
In reality, the measure could give a New Jersey drugmaker, The Medicines Co., 2½ more years of patent protection for its lucrative blood thinner Angiomax. It would also save the law firm WilmerHale $214 million it would owe the drug company under a malpractice lawsuit if a generic alternative is sold in the United States before June 15, 2015. […]
The company sued [after it missed a patent extension deadline by one day], and last August a federal district court ruled in its favor, ordering the patent office to recognize The Medicines Co.’s application as timely and saying the FDA and the patent office need to better coordinate their rules. APP Pharmaceuticals LLC of Illinois, which wants to market a generic brand of Angiomax, has appealed that ruling.
So, guess who persuaded the US House to reopen the vote on the bill? Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.…
The House on Thursday had originally voted against the amendment to the patent bill, only to have the vote reopened after Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) protested that Members were still voting when it was gaveled down.
Yep. Jackson went to bat for a New Jersey company and a DC law firm at the expense of an Illinois pharmaceutical manufacturer with more than 1,800 employees. Heckuva job, Jesse.
* And while this isn’t exactly a business recruitment story, it is a quality of life story, so they’re closely related…
Illinois beaches along Lake Michigan have the sixth-worst water quality in the country, a study released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council found.
* But this may help…
A report on Illinois beaches released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests that the use of border collies to harass gulls has helped reduce water contamination levels at area beaches.
The annual NRDC assessment says the difference was most apparent at 57th Street and 63rd Street beaches, where the first use of collies in 2008 coincided with significantly smaller percentages of days on which water contamination exceed state standards.
What’s more, the following year, when collies were not used, contimination levels climbed, and in 2010, when the collies were used again, levels fell again.
* Private manager takes over Lottery operations Friday: Illinois’ private lottery manager takes over operations Friday, with both the company and the state envisioning greatly increased sales and more money for state coffers.
* Job-seeking public finds fewer online job postings: The number of online advertised job postings in Illinois fell 5.6 percent in June from May, but rose 15.5 percent from June 2010, a report released by the Conference Board Wednesday showed. There were 167,600 online advertised job vacancies this month, down from 177,500 in May and up from 145,100 in June 2010. Online advertised job vacancies nationally dipped 2.2 percent from May to 4.37 million and were up 20.9 percent from 3.62 million in June 2010.
* Bill Clinton kicks off U.S. jobs confab in Chicago
* Grease from Taste of Chicago to become biodiesel fuel
* Navy Pier to keep Children’s Museum under latest plan: The plan foresees a major expansion of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, with construction of a distinctively shaped new building, sources said. The proposal also calls for increased green space and upgraded landscaping, more restaurants, and improved retail offerings at Navy Pier.
* Losing Bears games to lockout could wallop Chicago’s economy: Players and owners bickering about how to divide an estimated $9 billion in annual revenue aren’t the only ones who stand the lose if a deal to end the NFL’s ongoing labor impasse doesn’t end soon. Chicago’s already fragile economy would suffer another late hit. It won’t just be football-starved fans with something at stake. Everyday Chicagoans will find themselves stuck in the middle. While this labor feud appears to be between millionaire players and billionaire owners, they are far from the only ones with fur in this fight.
* Illinois farmers optimistic about corn, soybeans
* Vista breaks ground on Lindenhurst medical office building
* Amazon ends deal with 25,000 California websites