WisBusiness: The Podcast with Bill Murphy, director of Forward BIO Institute

This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: The Podcast” features a conversation with Bill Murphy, director of the recently announced Forward BIO Institute.

Murphy is a professor of biomedical engineering at UW-Madison. The Forward BIO Institute was announced late last week as part of the Forward BIO Initiative, a new effort focused on translating research into industry applications.

“What I’ve discovered over the past 15 years of doing research at the University of Wisconsin is that the greatest impact we can have is if our technologies, our inventions, make their way out of the university and get out into companies that can generate products,” he said.

Murphy says the Forward BIO Institute will be partnering with several groups, including the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

“WARF is an example of a logical partner; WARF’s goals are our goals,” he said. “They want to see these groundbreaking technologies get translated into impactful solutions to medical problems.

“What we want to do is allow that pathway to take place, and really shepherd these technologies through that process in a way that’s efficient,” he continued. “And providing resources that are new, allowing the entrepreneurs that want to generate these kinds of new companies, these new technologies, to have the right spaces in which to do so.”

He pointed to the university’s Direct to Product initiative as another potential partner, noting that program has provided training and resources to faculty entrepreneurs that might be interested in starting companies.

On the industry side, he says “a wide range” of other partners exist in Madison and the state more broadly.

“There are large-scale life science companies; there are many, many startup companies in this space,” he said. “In fact, Wisconsin has hundreds of startup companies that are in the biomanufacturing space… so the ecosystem here is really ripe for this kind of initiative.”