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The Associated Press September 22, 2011, 2:10PM ET

Quinn, on China trade trip, announces biotech deal

During his trade mission to China, Gov. Pat Quinn announced a deal on Thursday that is designed to increase collaboration between biotech companies and researchers in Illinois and in China.

Quinn signed a memorandum of cooperation between the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, iBIO and China's Shanghai Bio Pharmaceutics Association. The Illinois coalition represents research universities and technology companies, while iBIO is an Illinois-based life sciences industry organization.

"This agreement provides a framework for Illinois and China to enhance business and education partnerships and collaborate on the scientific breakthroughs that will accelerate company growth and foster the creation of jobs," Quinn said in a news release after the deal was signed during a stop in Shanghai.

The agreement will allow researchers and companies to collaborate, while increasing communication that could lead to increased exports and investments, according to Quinn's office.

Illinois has 58,000 workers directly employed in the biosciences industry, while six of the top 20 pharmaceutical and life sciences companies have headquarters in Illinois, Quinn's office said.

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