03 May Wisconsin biosciences rise to the challenge
The bioscience industry has become an important force in Wisconsin’s economy because of the value of the intellectual capital it generates through discovery and research, the 30,000 skilled people it employs to further develop and commercialize those discoveries, and the nearly $8 billion in revenue generated by bioscience companies each year.
Wisconsin bioscience companies have positioned themselves as national and international leaders in a broad range of industries – from molecular diagnostics to medical imaging and radiation therapy, from biopharmaceuticals to stem-cell therapeutics.
Promoting and nurturing the state’s bioscience companies at whatever their stage of development – the Wisconsin Biotechnology & Medical Device Association’s first mission – is critical to the continued strong growth of the industry and Wisconsin’s economy, and the advancement of healthcare and the many other fields that are touched by the biosciences.
Without the necessary support, start-up and emerging companies may struggle, despite great science, dedicated people, and high aspirations. As the Spanish proverb says, goals without means are like bread without flour. The key purpose driving the WBMA is to provide the support necessary for the growth of our member companies and the industry they comprise.
The WBMA, for example, provides networking opportunities and educational resources to help members grow their businesses. We provide tools to our companies outside of their laboratories that they have told us help foster the commercialization of the critical discoveries they make within them.
The WBMA represents more than 200 companies with a common link in the life sciences, the only group in the state presenting this important and growing constituency. We are the voice of Wisconsin’s bioscience industry. Our mission is to support both public- and private-sector research and the commercialization of the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical-device solutions resulting from that research.
We do this through public promotion and advocacy, organizational networking, and other support. All of these and other WBMA programs are designed to enable our member firms to advance their businesses and better serve society through science. As WBMA grows in membership, our opportunities to provide even greater levels of assistance grows with it.
Underlying our mission are four key objectives:
• We want to communicate the value Wisconsin’s biotechnology and medical device industry brings to society in providing solutions to present and future issues. We also want to communicate the needs of our industry and its members in terms of critical support required to help them accomplish their missions.
• We seek to serve our members through the close association we have with them and our unique understanding of challenges facing the industry.
• We work to educate members and the public through resources offered through the WBMA Education Institute, providing a catalyst for member-company and industry growth through efforts to strengthen Wisconsin’s workforce and expand the biotechnology and medical devices industry in the state.
• Finally, we strive to help member firms collaborate in ways that support their mutual growth and development, fostering access to resources and partnerships that make sense and support member goals and objectives.
Setting the stage
These components are critical to the WBMA’s success in serving its member companies, all of which are an important part of a significant and growing industry. Wisconsin’s bioscience company revenue has seen an annualized growth rate of 15 percent since 2003. This impressive progress has occurred while half of the state’s bioscience companies are less than 10 years old, setting the stage for tremendous future economic growth for the state.
Wisconsin’s bioscience industry is the foundation for the new economy, one that is based on knowledge and development of breakthrough technologies. It’s the WBMA’s goal to foster the continued growth of this industry, providing the means that allow it to rise to the increasing challenges facing us now and in years to come.
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