TCIC at Bio 2010 Convention in Chicago!

On May 5-6th the TCIC Director, Dr. Lyden, and two UWRF student researchers, Victor Piazza and Tim Morris traveled to Chicago to participate in the “Bio 2010” Convention at McCormick Place. The TCIC contingent joined others from across Wisconsin in representing the Biotechnology Industry of the state. In particular, the TCIC crew manned the “Momentum West” portion of the state pavilion in this global event. More than 1700 exhibitors representing countries, states and companies from around the world presented the state of the art in Biotechnology. The meeting also featured presentations by former Presidents Clinton and Bush as well as Vice President Gore. Altogether the meeting attracted some 17,000 participants over 5 days.

Momentum West, the regional economic development organization based in Eau Claire invited the TCIC to participate in this world class event to showcase the significant work being done here in western Wisconsin to develop the biotechnology and biomedical research and training capacity of the region. At the Momentum kiosk we were joined by individuals and materials from UW-Stout, UW-Eau Claire and CVTC as well as information on numerous industries in the area. Also presenting within the state pavilion was TCIC collaborator, Marshfield Clinic in addition to several units associated with UW-Madison.

A significant number of very interesting contacts were made throughout the 2 days of TCIC participation in this meeting. On the 5th, Director Lyden was invited to attend a breakfast reception at the Swiss Consulate, which served to make a number of interesting contacts with European pharmaceutical companies as well as other governmental agencies. Later during the meeting, the Consul and Trade Commissioner of Canada (Chicago Embassy) visited the Wisconsin Pavilion and took a keen interest in the TCIC concept as well as the economic development capacity of western Wisconsin. After a long and productive discussion, the Consul volunteered to work toward establishing connections between the TCIC and various biomedical research organizations throughout Canada. This contact interestingly builds on potential connections of the TCIC to the Ontario Cancer Center, with whom we first connected last Fall in New York at the JCB/NYAS meeting (see story below). Additionally, several pharmaceutical industry representatives took an interest in the work being done here as well.

The two TCIC student researchers also had the opportunity to explore the state of the art in biotechnology as well as make numerous connections themselves with industrial representatives and recruiters. In fact, one of the students had an extremely productive discussion with a biotechnology recruiter from New York who, after hearing about undergraduate research experiences at the TCIC, suggested the student should contact him immediately upon graduation next year for a formal interview. Needless to say both students will be following-up on many of the networking opportunities that presented themselves this week.

In short, this was an extremely productive short trip to Chicago that we expect to see grow new opportunities and potential collaborations. Thanks go out to the Dean of CAS, the Director of the UWRF Biotechnology Program and the Grants Office for their funding support of this trip.