Modern healthcare, food production, environmental protection, and biodefense share a common need for better understanding of complex, living systems. These sectors increasingly rely upon sophisticated analytical tools and information technology to obtain and decipher large volumes of complex biological information in digital form. The applications and markets for information technology in the life sciences – broadly defined as bioinformation – are many and varied, including biological research (i.e. genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, computational biology, drug discovery, and pharmacogenomics), direct healthcare delivery (clinical information), healthcare management, agribusiness, environmental management, criminal justice, and public health/homeland security.

In 2004, CIT coined the term “SmartBio” for its strategic focus on research and technologies at the intersection of life sciences and information technology that:

  • Enable better understanding of complex living systems, and
  • Drive public development and commercialization of “smarter” inventions in healthcare, agriculture, public safety, and the environment.

Virginia is well-positioned to take a leadership role in SmartBio research, development, and commercialization because of its strong bioscience research institutions and its mature and savvy IT industry.