BioForward: Vision Summit to focus on current challenges, long-term opportunities


Jennifer Christianson

Marketing Manager



MADISON, Wis. – How biotechnology companies can thrive in the difficult economic conditions and prepare themselves for the unprecedented opportunity of the coming decade is the theme of the Biotechnology Vision Summit 2009, being held on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at the Madison Marriott West, Madison, Wis.

The summit is being hosted by BioForward, the member-driven state association that is the voice of Wisconsin’s biotechnology industry, and will take the place of its annual conference. Registration for the meeting remains open, with registration information available at . Early-registration pricing ends Sept. 18.

The summit will engage participants in a series of plenary sessions and panel discussions that will explore how companies can meet the challenges of the current economy and position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead. These strategic discussions also are the foundation for a plenary session discussion at the end of the summit about a vision for the region’s biotechnology industry in the 2010s.

“The Biotechnology Vision Summit 2009 is a truly unique opportunity for anyone in the biotechnology and medical device industry to participate in a discussion about its future,” said Bryan Z. Renk, executive director of BioForward. “We’re gathering industry leaders from across the country to participate in that discussion and we know that the summit will be both meaningful and productive.”

Mark P. Stevenson, the president and chief operating officer of Life Technologies Corp. will be the summit’s keynote speaker. He will discuss Challenges for Biotechnology in the 2010s.

The summit’s afternoon plenary session discussions will include a number of the industry’s most respected and recognized leaders.

* Economics of Health Care in the 2010s: What is in Store for Rx, Dx, and Device Companies? led by David Parker, Ph.D., vice president of the Boston Healthcare consulting firm, with participants who include Mark Kramer, vice president, regulatory affairs, GE Healthcare.

* Funding Challenges for Biotechnology Companies led by John Neis, managing director of Venture Investors, with participants who include Robert Carey, managing director and co-head of health care investment banking, JMP Securities; Barry Kurokawa, founder and managing partner, ProMed Advisors LLC, and; Schaefer Price, president and chief executive, Pharmasset Inc.

* Creating the Vision for Biotechnology in the 2010s. The leader and participants for this plenary session discussion will be announced at a later date. This discussion, the last of the summit, will attempt to synthesize all the earlier summit discussions into a shared vision for the region’s biotechnology industry.

BioForward is offering emerging companies a new, unique opportunity at the summit. Six Wisconsin-based biotechnology companies less than four years old will be selected to receive a scholarship to attend the summit and participate in the new Emerging Company Showcase. The scholarship includes complimentary registration and exhibit space at the summit, recognition during one of its plenary sessions, and other premiums. Applications for the Emerging Company Showcase must be received by BioForward by Sept. 16. The six Emerging Company Showcase winners will be announced later this week.

About BioForward

BioForward is the member-driven state association that is the voice of Wisconsin’s biotechnology industry. We advocate actively on our members’ behalf to create investment and partnership opportunities, attract and retain the very best people, and support public policy that fosters their continued growth. We also provide member-support services that include networking opportunities through a variety of conferences and events, online resources and group purchasing programs. Our members include biotechnology companies, universities, non- profits, service providers, and state, regional and local government representatives. More information available at