On May 1, 2024, the biohealth community gathered at the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin, for BioForward’s Annual Member Meeting. This year’s event was a testament to the growth, innovation, and collaborative spirit that define BioForward and its visionary members. Attendees immersed themselves in lively discussions, gained insights into the future of biohealth, and celebrated outstanding community contributions.

A Day of Engagement and Celebration

The meeting commenced with check-ins at 11:00 AM, setting the stage for a day filled with excitement and inspiration. The vibrant lunchtime gathering allowed peers from the biohealth community to reconnect and engage in meaningful conversations.

Lisa Johnson, CEO of BioForward, kicked off the program by highlighting the successes of the past fiscal year and outlining what lies ahead for the organization. Her address emphasized BioForward’s pivotal role in propelling the biohealth industry toward new heights of growth and innovation.

Honoring Community Service Excellence

A highlight of the event was the 2024 Community Service Awards presentation, recognizing exceptional contributions to community welfare and enrichment. This year’s honorees embodied the spirit of philanthropy and social responsibility:

  • Tracy Qualmann from Envision Greater Fond Du Lac received the Individual Community Service Award for her tireless dedication to various causes, including higher education, support for the unhoused, historic preservation, and veterans’ services.
  • MilliporeSigma was awarded the Company Community Service Award for its extensive community engagement, supporting over 14 local non-profits with initiatives spanning STEM education, animal shelters, food banks, and the Special Olympics.

“We are thrilled to honor Tracy Qualmann and MilliporeSigma for their exceptional contributions to community service,” remarked Lisa Johnson. “Their commitment to enriching lives and fostering positive change embodies the core values of our industry.”

For more details on the award winners, read the full press release.

Unveiling the Future of Biohealth

The event also showcased groundbreaking projects from the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub, part of the Phase 2 Application to the Economic Development Administration’s Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs Program. With potential funding of $50-$70 million, these projects are set to transform personalized medicine.

Wendy Harris, Regional Innovation Officer, provided strategic insights into the Tech Hub’s vision and collaborative efforts. Key projects presented included:

  • Wisconsin Health Database: A cyber-secure repository of health data led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, aiming to accelerate new therapy development.
  • CAREScan Mobile Cancer Screening: An initiative by the Medical College of Wisconsin to address health disparities through mobile cancer screening.
  • Image-Guided Personalized Therapy: A project by GE HealthCare to integrate new technologies into healthcare systems, advancing personalized medicine.
  • Advancing Innovation to Commercialization: Led by BioForward, this project supports entrepreneurs in bringing innovations to market readiness.
  • Wisconsin Workforce Development: Co-led by Madison College and Milwaukee Area Technical College, focusing on expanding certification programs and apprenticeships to meet employer demands.

Read more about these transformative projects in the full press release.

Looking Back and Moving Forward

In their presentations, Lisa Johnson and Nicolas Paris, BioForward Board Chair and CEO of Gilson, reflected on the past year’s accomplishments. They highlighted Wisconsin’s designation as a Tech Hub and successful legislative advocacy efforts supporting the Tech Hub projects.

Nicolas Paris emphasized the industry’s need to move from influence to impact, marking a new era of growth and innovation for Wisconsin’s biohealth sector.

Elevate Your Experience

The meeting concluded with a casual networking extravaganza, allowing attendees to spark new conversations and collaborations. The revamped venue at the Overture Center provided the perfect backdrop for this vibrant exchange of ideas.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

This event would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Their commitment to the biohealth industry and community engagement is deeply appreciated.

Luncheon sponsor- Findorff
Presentation sponsor- Golden Innovation Group
General Event sponsors- ASQE, Flad, Mortenson, NAMI, US Bank, CTaccess
Platinum Medallion Member sponsor- Fisher Scientific
Gold Medallion Member sponsors- Aldevron, Arrowhead, Eurofins, Exact Sciences, GE HealthCare, Illumina, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Millipore Sigma, Promega, Vogel Bros. Building Co.

2023 BioForward Annual Report

You can read more about 2023 successes in the BioForward Annual Report. Press release. Download the report.