14 Sep State of biotech, medical device sector is focus of upcoming conference
Madison, Wis. — Established and emerging biotech companies in Wisconsin’s biotechnology sector will review the state of their industry at the upcoming Wisconsin Biotechnology and Medical Device Association Conference.
The conference will be held Oct. 14, at the Olympia Resort in Oconomowoc.
“We’re holding it halfway between Madison and Milwaukee to encourage the civic and business leaders of both cities to come,” explained Jim Leonhart, executive vice president of the Madison-based association. “We really want to make sure they understand the great things that are happening in this industry, and understand why we thinking this industry should be supported as a vital part of Wisconsin’s economy.”
The conference will feature a review of the state’s position, what companies are coming to the state, and how companies should approach the business environment to expand the state’s $6 billion life science sector.
The morning keynote will feature Ross DeVol, director of regional economics for the Milken Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., going over a recent survey of life science sectors and what assets and challenges there are for the Wisconsin industries.
“This is kind of a benchmarking presentation, because we want the people in Wisconsin to know what it’s going to take to move Wisconsin’s life science industry to the next level,” Leonhart explained. “How do we attract more pharmaceutical interest in our state? How do we attract more venture capital interest to our state and continue to grow the life science cluster in the state?
Among other presentations, there will be an afternoon keynote on keeping biotech advances safe from bioterror exploitation, a presentation on stem-cell research by UW-Madison professors Alta Charo and Clive Svendsen, and a review of three companies new to Wisconsin: Clonex Development Laboratories, Excorp Medical, and Vantus Technology.
• Leonardt also announced that, starting in 2006, the association would hold monthly Milwaukee meetings in addition to its monthly Madison meetings, which regularly attract up to 100 people. The group held its first Milwaukee meeting in May, and has Sept. 28 and Nov. 16 Milwaukee meetings planned for the remainder of this year. Those meetings will be held at the Milwaukee County Research Park in Wauwatosa.