Wisconsin’s pavilion and related events at the BIO International Convention will feature a “family” of organizations, colleges and programs with ties to UW-Madison, one of the nation’s leading research universities in the life sciences.

Up to 20,000 people from 40 states and 50 countries are expected to attend the May 3-6 convention at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The convention, the world’s largest for the biotech sector, was last held in Chicago in 2006.

The Wisconsin pavilion on the BIO exhibition floor so far includes the UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, University Research Park, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Morgridge Institute for Research, the WiCell Research Institute, the Waisman Clinical BioManufacturing Facility and the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative.

“Having the 2010 BIO International Convention return to Chicago is an important strategic advantage for Wisconsin and the UW,” said Charles Hoslet, managing director of UW-Madison’s Office of Corporate Relations. “Our office and the university are excited to be a part of the Wisconsin pavilion at BIO. We see this as a tremendous opportunity to attract a large multi-state and global audience and highlight the biotech resources and expertise at the UW and around Wisconsin.”
Other groups within the 600-square-foot Wisconsin pavilion, which will be located adjacent to the Minnesota pavilion and near other “I-Q Corridor” states, will be announced in coming weeks.

Other BIO-related events involving Wisconsin will include a joint reception on Navy Pier with Minnesota and the Province of Manitoba, which has a working relationship with both states, and other networking events in or around the convention floor. In addition, a number of Wisconsin companies will take part in BIO’s one-on-one partnering and presentation forums.

To become a pavilion or related event sponsor, contact Jodi Hoeser, national conference director for the Wisconsin Technology Council, at 608-442-7557 ext. 26.

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. 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 http://convention.bio.org 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:

To learn more and to find application materials, visit http://www.bioforward.org/BIO2010.php.
Applications should be submitted to Brian Moeller, BioForward, 455 Science Drive, Suite 160, Madison, Wis. 53711 or bmoeller@bioforward.org 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 http://commerce.wi.gov/IE/IE-TradeShowGrant.html 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 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.