BOSTON, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — Today, Governor Deval Patrick kicked-off the 2012 BIO International Convention and welcomes more than 15,000 participants and 3,000 companies to Massachusetts, home of the nation’s largest life sciences supercluster. “Hosting all this talent from all around the world is a great opportunity for us to showcase our supercluster here, build on relationships we already have and create some new ones,” said Governor Patrick.

He aqdded, “I look forward to meeting with top executives and government leaders to explore opportunities for collaboration and I encourage all BIO participants to do the same.”

As a follow-up to the Governor’s 2011 innovation economy missions to the UK, Israel and Chile, today the Governor hosts separate meetings with United Kingdom Minister of Universities and Science David Willetts, Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson, and Chilean Ambassador to the United States Felipe Bulnes. Later in the day, the Governor will participate in a MassBIO Patient event at the Massachusetts Pavilion.

The Governor has a full schedule of events for BIO this week as he meets with top executives and government leaders and makes several announcements related to the life sciences in Massachusetts.

The BIO International Convention provides Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, state and industry leaders with an opportunity to showcase Massachusetts as a global leader in the life sciences industry, and the preeminent place for life sciences companies to invest in and expand.

The ten-year, $1 billion life sciences investment package Governor Patrick signed in 2008 has strengthened the state’s global leadership in the life sciences. The initiative melds all of the state’s key resources in order to spur research, investment, innovation and commercialization. Now the life sciences industry in Massachusetts is thriving, with more than 52 percent job growth in the biopharma sector since 2001 and more than 80,000 employees working in the life sciences.