Photo courtesy of Exact Sciences

by Erik Gunn, Wisconsin Examiner
October 24, 2023

Wisconsin’s bid to be named as health regional technology hub advanced Monday, federal officials announced, setting the stage for the state to apply for up to $75 million in federal grants for the state’s biotechnology industry.

The Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub was one of 31 projects around the nation advancing to the next step in the federal Tech Hub project, established as part of the 2021 CHIPS and Science Act. Gov. Tony Evers, Sen. Tammy Baldwin and the U.S. Commerce Department each announced the selection.

A consortium that includes the state’s biotechnology, medical device and related industries along with health technology companies, higher education institutions and economic development agencies is behind the Wisconsin application. The project focuses on advancing the development of personalized medicine — analyzing the individual patient’s genetic makeup in targeting medical treatment and therapies as well as testing and diagnosis.

The consortium’s application says federal support would enable participants to coordinate manufacturing, share data, expand their laboratory and computing capacity and expand domestic biotech manufacturing.

Initially the consortium will receive $350,000 from the federal government to further develop the project as part of applying for up to $75 million to carry it out.

The cooperative effort and being designated a regional tech hub will make it possible for companies and other organizations working in the field “to research, think, and plan collectively instead of working through challenges on their own,” said Aaron Olver, chair of the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub Consortium, in the announcement distributed by Evers’ office. “By working together, we can speed up innovation, share resources and knowledge, and advance promising treatments to improve patients’ lives.”

Evers said the tech hub project could lead to better jobs in the field, economic growth for Wisconsin and improved medical care.

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