MADISON – Wisconsin biotechnology companies with an interest in attending the BIO International Convention at Chicago’s McCormick Place may apply for grants and scholarships from two state-based sources. Up to 20,000 people from 40 states and 50 countries are expected to attend the May 3-6 convention, which was last held in Chicago in 2006.

Companies may apply to either the Small Business Scholarship Program for BIO 2010, the Trade Show Grant Program of the state Department of Commerce or both.

The Small Business Scholarship Program for BIO 2010 is designed to help small biotech companies in medical, agriculture, energy or other sectors, including medical devices, to participate in the convention’s One-on-One Partnering or company presentation forums.

Up to 12 awards of $750 to $2,000 each may be made to companies that apply by 4 p.m. Feb. 19. These reimbursement scholarships would be awarded in time for companies to qualify for early registration rates for BIO 2010, which are available through March 11. Visit for more information on the BIO 2010 agenda and registration options.

To apply for a scholarship, a company must have operations in Wisconsin and the application should be submitted by the company executive. The company must take part in either the One-on-One Partnering or company presentation forum. Preference will be given to companies:

* Exhibiting a solid technology, strategic approach to participation at BIO 2010, and financial need.
* Companies with fewer than 100 employees.
* First-time participants in the BIO Business Forum and companies that have not recently participated in the forum.
* Companies not receiving other financial support to attend BIO 2010.

To learn more and to find application materials, visit

Applications should be submitted to Brian Moeller, BioForward, 455 Science Drive, Suite 160, Madison, Wis. 53711 or Scholarship sponsors thus far include BioForward, the UW-Madison Center for International Business Education and Research, the City of Madison and Thrive.

The Trade Show Grant Program of the state Department of Commerce is designed to help companies seek international markets. Under the program, Wisconsin companies with annual sales of less than $25 million can be reimbursed up to $5,000 for specific expenses. Reimbursable expenses include participation fees and costs that are associated with a physical presence on the convention floor, such as taking part in the Wisconsin BIO pavilion. Costs associated with first-time foreign translation of brochures and product literature or use of translation services may also qualify.

Companies that take part in the program can also utilize the services of Wisconsin’s trade consultants in the departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and Natural Resources.

Visit to learn more, to review frequently asked questions and to download application materials. Please call the program manager at 608-266-0413 with questions.

“The BIO International Convention is the largest gathering of its kind in the world, and Wisconsin companies have a unique opportunity to take part,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “These two programs can help to make it easier for qualifying companies to attend.”

The Tech Council and Forward Wisconsin are working with a number of state companies and organizations to establish a strong Wisconsin presence at the convention, which will include a 600-square-foot pavilion and a variety of networking and business-to-business events. To learn more about the Wisconsin pavilion and the overall BIO effort, contact Jodi Hoeser at 608-442-7557 or