WisBusiness: MIT Club set to award state’s innovators

By Brian E. Clark

The MIT Club of Wisconsin will honor two high-tech companies and a UW-Madison biomedical engineer at its Technology Achievement Awards Banquet on March 10.

The event will be held begin at 6 p.m. at The Rotunda, 235 West Broadway in Waukesha.

Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, will deliver the keynote address, "The Heart of the IQ Corridor: How Wisconsin is Building a Knowledge-Based Economy."

Allyn Ziegenhagen, club treasurer, said this is the third year the awards have been handed out.

“Our goal is to celebrate and promote technological innovation in the state and honor those who have made technological contributions to Wisconsin’s economy,” he said.

He said the club wants to help boost the state’s business climate and is working with the University of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the Wisconsin Technology Council and other organizations.

Ziegenhagen said the club hopes to launch an internship program next year that will place MIT students from Wisconsin with high tech companies in the state.

Ziegenhagen said this year’s individual winner is Nimmi Ramanujam. He was recognized as one of the Top Young Innovators by MIT’s Technology Review in 2003.

Ramanujam’s biomedical engineering group at UW-Madison has developed a device to aid cancer surgery. The device guides a biopsy needle to the right spot in the breast using an optical fiber threaded through the needle which then shines light of different wave lengths on cells at the needle’s tip. This causes cancer-cell molecules to fluoresce in characteristic ways which are then registered on sensors.

The companies receiving awards are Rockwell Automation and NimbleGen Systems.

Ziegenhagen said Rockwell Automation provides world-class automation, process control and information management products, as well as expertise in all facets of engineering services and consulting.

This includes everything from integrated engineering and solutions in multi-vendor platforms to software and MRO asset management services.

Nimblegen Systems is being honored because it is the leading supplier of customized high-density microarray products and services, offering flexibility for genomics research.

He said NimbleGen’s Maskless Array Synthesis (MAS) technology combines photo-deposition chemistry with digital light projection to shorten array fabrication from months to hours. Customers benefit from extreme flexibility, optimized array design, highly reproducible array fabrication and statistically robust results – all with low cost and quick turnaround.

NimbleGen is working with scientists around the world to develop and deploy a wide range of new microarray applications.

Tickets are $60 per person or $600 per 10-person table. For more information, and to register, click on the following link:
https://alum.mit.edu/smarTrans/user/Register.dyn?eventID=1395&groupID=195 or contact Allyn Ziegenhagen at [email protected] or by phone at (262) 523-8405.