To Bill Murphy and the other leaders of the Forward BIO Initiative, Wisconsin possesses all the elements to become a hub of biomanufacturing in the United States, the Midwest’s version of Boston or San Francisco in this rapidly expanding industry.
“Our established, statewide excellence in research, technology development and workforce development make Wisconsin a powerhouse,” says Murphy, the Harvey D. Spangler Professor of biomedical engineering and orthopedics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the chair of the Forward BIO Initiative. “What we need is to coordinate and amplify the ingredients that are in place here. That is what Forward BIO is doing.”
The initiative, which launched in September 2018, covers research, education and career preparation, facility access for startups, and two-way connections between industry and academia through its three pillars: the Forward BIO Institute at UW–Madison; Forward BIOLABS, a turnkey lab space at University Research Park on Madison’s west side; and BioForward Wisconsin, a partnership organization of biohealth companies in the state.