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Governor To Lead Tech Delegation to Washington

Governor Doyle will lead a group of over 70 Wisconsin business executives, economic development officials, and venture capitalists to Washington in an effort to recruit and attract the biotech industry and more investment to the state. The delegation will be attending BIO 2003, the annual meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), June 21-25 at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center. BIO 2003 is a major business marketing and promotional initiative advertised as the world’s largest gathering of biotechnology leaders.

Joining the governor will be Secretary of Commerce, Cory Nettles, Mark Bugher, director of University Research Park, James Leonhart, vice-president of the Wisconsin Biotechnology Association, Irene Hrusovsky, president of EraGen Biosciences. Doyle said he is going to attend to "support the incredible core of Wisconsin biotechnology and life science businesses that continue to provide life-saving products and quality of life innovations to the global community." His goal is to "build a platform of visibility and awareness for Wisconsin's entrepreneurial, idea-focused biotechnology industry."

Wisconsin companies and associations featured include, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Marshfield Clinic, Milwaukee Tech Star, Gala Design, Scientific Protein Laboratories, Wisconsin Biotechnology Association, EraGen Biosciences, Wisconsin Technology Council, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will be represented by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

Forward Wisconsin, a business recruitment organization responsible for marketing outside Wisconsin to attract increased economic activity to the state, will organize Wisconsin activities at the conference, including the Wisconsin pavilion exhibition and receptions. “In 1999, Forward Wisconsin completed a target industry study and one of six areas which needs to grow in Wisconsin is biotech,” said Scott Reigstad, director of communications of Forward Wisconsin.

Forward Wisconsin has organized a Wisconsin Reception, titled “Wisconsin – Just Imagine,” that will take place Monday evening, June 23 at The Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel. It will serve as a point of one-to-one contact between industry leaders from around the world and the Wisconsin delegation.
" We see BIO, with 18,000 registrants, as an opportunity to promote Wisconsin as America's Third Coast Biotechnology Community. Many great advances in biotechnology are happening right here,” said James Leonhart of the Wisconsin Biotechnology Association.

With many states in an economic slump, state leaders and business development executives will attend the meeting in an effort to recruit biotech industry to their regions. In addition to Doyle, governors from Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Virginia will also be attending.

“It is a great thing when the state can put its best foot forward,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “This often means having the state’s number one citizen there to represent us in person. Doyle is warm to topic of high tech economic growth in Wisconsin and is an eloquent spokesman for the state.” The state’s sponsors include GE Medical Systems, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection. The Marshfield Clinic, Third Wave Technologies, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) are also contributors.

BIO 2003 represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers, and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.


Jamie Hofmeister is a freelance technology writer and regular contributor to the Wisconsin Technology Network. If you have questions or comments, she can be reached at

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