Life Science: From Chicago to the Twin Cities: All tech roads lead to Wisconsin

Life Science: From Chicago to the Twin Cities: All tech roads lead to Wisconsin

Editor’s Note: The Wisconsin Technology Council has published the first-ever magazine about Wisconsin’s life sciences industry. The 24-page publication highlights the state’s research base, technology-transfer process, company creation, quality of life, key contacts and the “I-Q Corridor” that joins Chicago, Wisconsin and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The Wisconsin Technology Network has arranged to post excerpts from “Life Sciences: Wisconsin – The Smart Choice,” over the next few weeks. Today we present part 5. Stay tuned for more chapters!

What is Biostar?
At a time when many state governments and public universities have pulled back on bricks and mortar investments, Wisconsin and UW-Madison have stayed the course with “BioStar.” This project, which is nearing the halfway mark, will result in four buildings over eight years – a Biotechnology Center addition, a microbial sciences building, a biochemistry building upgrade and an interdisciplinary biology building. Of the $318 million in total spending, $158 million will come from the state of Wisconsin and its taxpayers. A related project is “HealthStar,” which began in 1996. The latest health sciences building planned under HealthStar is an Interdisciplinary Research Center estimated at $120 million.

From Chicago to the Twin Cities: All Tech roads lead to Wisconsin

Wisconsin lies in the heart of the “I-Q Corridor,” a region that boasts Chicago and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul as its economic bookends, with a well-stocked shelf of technology development assets between.
Ideas, intellectual property, innovative spirit and investment capital make up four of the “I’s” in the I-Q.Corridor.
The fifth is the interstate highway system that binds Chicago, Milwaukee, the Rockford-Beloit-Janesville area, Madison, the Fox and Chippewa valleys and the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Within a span of about 400 miles, which is about 100 miles less than what separates California’s high-tech centers of San Diego and San Francisco, lies a significant chunk of the nation’s research universities, tech workers and early-stage companies.
Economic competition in the 21st century will be led by states and regions that capture markets beyond their borders.

Why Wisconsin?
For the past 56 years, GE Healthcare’s dedicated and talented Wisconsin employees have helped to provide transformational medical technologies that are shaping a new age of patient care. Through on-going research partnerships with leading institutions, such as the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee, GE Healthcare has laid down strong roots of collaborative innovation. Together, these relationships and the talented local individuals driving them, foster significant advances in healthcare technology. GE Healthcare proudly employs about 6,500 people in Wisconsin, who are instrumental in offering a broad range of services to improve productivity in healthcare.
Gene Saragnese
Global Technology

Identifiable regions such as the I-Q Corridor (where the “Q” stands for quality people, schools, lifestyle and environment) will flourish by producing globally competitive goods and services.
Wisconsin’s life sciences resources leverage those in Chicago and the Twin Cities, and vice versa.
In the Twin Cities, a history of innovative companies and risk-taking investors has produced one of the nation’s leading medical device clusters and leaders in agribusiness and information technology. The Minnesota Miracle may soon extend to biotechnology, due to the emergence of new state initiatives, cooperation between the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic, and a burst of investment in research buildings.
Tech leaders in Minnesota are betting the next wave of tech success will be interdisciplinary – with biotechnology, medical devices and IT melding into fields such as bioinformatics. That’s the approach in Wisconsin, as well, where the UW-Madison, the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Marshfield Clinic are all taking an interdisciplinary approach to research and company spinoffs.
In Chicago, the recent Midwest-Japan Biotechnology Summit provided the latest evidence that the nation’s Heartland is becoming a heart-throb for life science investors and companies. Major Japanese pharmaceutical companies such as Fujisawa, Sankyo and Takeda see the I-Q Corridor as an emerging cluster of research, workers and start-up companies – and a place where the business deals are less “picked over” than those they may find on the East and West coasts of the United States.
The “I-Q Corridor” is more than a branding slogan. It’s a place where Midwest technology, values and people meet the global economy.
This article was reproduced with permission, courtesy of the Wisconsin Technology Council, from their recently published Wisconsin Life Science magazine. All rights reserved.