Pharms in NC

In North Carolina we are doing great things to continue our growth as one of the leaders in biotech research. Those on the right would like to forget that without the RTP we would have the economy of South Carolina or Georgia. Without the RTP we would be dependent entirely on farms instead of pharms.
I plan on writing much more about farms (good things), but for now will focus on Pharms and biotech in NC.

If your economy thrives on biotech, then you have to compete to get the startups here. It was the large pharms that moved early in the RTP history that provided the necessary economic boost, the Glaxo's and such. But, it is the smaller businesses that provide new technologies and cutting-edge discoveries. While big pharm is the roots of the RTP, these companies are the leaves, churning with energy production.

Which, leads to this plan.

The state is accepting applications for One North Carolina Small Business Fund matching grants for fiscal 2006-07, which runs through June.

The grants help small businesses fund research and develop technology in an effort to bring cutting-edge products to the marketplace.

"These grants enable North Carolina's small businesses to conduct the research and technology development that will generate the kinds of innovation critical to the future growth of our state's economy," N.C. Gov. Mike Easley says. "The One North Carolina Small Business Fund helps further North Carolina's position as the nation's top entrepreneurial state and as a leader in the global marketplace."

The radical right would like to do away with programs like this because they believe that big pharm would be altruistic enough to do the research themselves. Yeah, that is why we are in an antibiotic crisis, altruism. It is also driving all those new low-cost drugs we see....oh wait, there are no new low-cost drugs.

Once again, the Republicans in this state would rather we be mediocre than great. Here is an area that we lead in, and they want us to step back and become mediocre. I'm sick of mediocrity in North Carolina, I'm ready for some excellence.


Going to P'boro

I work in the Pharm industry, and so do many of my buds. The Pharm industry took in an awful lot of us who'd been layed off 3-4 years earlier from the telecom industry.

Now, a few folks from down here in Johnston are trying to plan a visit to Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro soon - possibly this weekend ... the good Lord willin' and the crick don't rise.

We want to learn how they do what they do. Some of us are also in the market for diesels we can convert to run on straight veggie oil, and Piedmont Biofuels sponsors workshops on converting engines to SVO. Somebody here posted a link to them ... maybe momo. We had no idea they were out there.

Would this sort of grant apply to an innovative farm+fuel = seed-to-oil-to-biodiesel operation?

I was also wondering if there might be a microbe out there that produces clean oil as a byproduct. Sounds weird, but there are all sorts of microbes that do all sorts of weird off the wall stuff. They're used to clean up spill sites and mine slag piles and god knows what else.

Along this same line, I heard a GREAT idea on NPR this morning. In Denton, OH they're using methane from their garbage dumps to power biodiesel conversion facilities. Something like that might go well with some of these counties in the east who want to bring in landfills for jobs. ???

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."