Contacts: Laura Smith, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162
Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661
Small Business Innovation Research Conference to be Held in Madison in April 2011
CHICAGO – At the BIO 2010 International Convention in Chicago, Governor Jim Doyle announced today that Wisconsin has been awarded the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) National Conference. Scheduled for April 11-13, 2011 at the Monona Terrace Convention Center, the conference is expected to draw a national audience of nearly 850 attendees to Madison and the University of Wisconsin.
“I have made economic development a top priority as we help businesses move forward from the recession,” Governor Doyle said. “This national conference is an opportunity to showcase Wisconsin’s leadership in innovative and scientific business endeavors, and reinforce our commitment to furthering economic opportunities for small businesses across Wisconsin.”
The three-day conference will offer small business entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet with prominent national, regional and state government officials to learn about government sources of funding. Designed to encourage and facilitate one-on-one dialogues, the conference will help attendees learn how they can access this important source of funding for innovative small businesses.
Conference plans include a tour and reception showcasing the new Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on the UW-Madison campus. At BIO, Governor Doyle also announced today that the Institutes will open in December 2010. The Governor first proposed the Institutes in 2004 as part of an overall statewide strategy to cement Wisconsin’s status as a national leader in biotechnology and stem cell research and stimulate the economy.
The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery will houses three entities under one roof – UW-Madison’s public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, the private nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research, and a main floor Town Center designed to foster interactions among scientists, students, entrepreneurs and businesses that will engage the public in science. All three entities share a vision of accelerating knowledge to improve human health and well-being. The facility has been designed to prompt interpersonal interactions among researchers of various disciplines to facilitate collaborations that result in breakthrough discoveries.
“It is very exciting to have this national conference come to Wisconsin just a few months after we open the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery,” said Dr. Sangtae “Sang” Kim, Director of the Morgridge Institute for Research and the co-chair of the SBIR 2011 conference. “This conference will bring national attention to our efforts to spur startups in Wisconsin, especially in the biomedical field.”
The conference is co hosted by the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network, and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. Additional sponsors are welcome and encouraged to contact conference planners at http://www.wisconsinsbir.org or by calling 608-263-0398.
The financing for the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery included a $50 million gift from UW alumni John and Tashia Morgridge – the largest ever to benefit the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Morgridge gift will be matched by $50 million from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and $50 million from the State of Wisconsin.
Governor Doyle made both announcements at the BIO 2010 International Convention – the world’s largest biotech conference – being held May 3-6 in Chicago.