Milwaukee to host 2017 Health and Human Services SBIR/STTR Conference


Milwaukee has been dubbed the “Heartland of BioHealth Innovation.” The Clinical Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI), a part of the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), was chosen by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to host the national 2017 Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (HHS SBIR/STTR) conference in 2017.

The event will take place Nov. 7-9 in downtown Milwaukee at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

The annual HHS SBIR/STTR convention welcomes a diverse audience, including small business professionals in the life sciences industry, principal investigators, grants and contracts administrators and industry partners and innovators. Attendees will discover how to successfully apply for these grants, learn about approaching partners and investors, the types of HHS assistance programs offered to awardees, and have a valuable opportunity throughout the 3 days, to meet one-on-one with 80 to 100 HHS SBIR/STTR experts and program officers who will fly in from Washington, D.C.

“We are honored and thrilled to be chosen as hosts,” said Reza Shaker, MD, director and senior dean of the CTSI of Southeast Wisconsin and director of the Digestive Disease Center at MCW. “This extremely competitive award validates the CTSI as a national leader in building academic and research partnerships to address community, regional and national health needs. In addition, hosting the event in Milwaukee allows attendees to learn from us and our partners the robust opportunities within Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The conference helps small businesses in the life science sector learn about America’s largest Seed Fund – more than $920 million dollars of annual HHS funding, one of the largest sources of nondilutive, early-stage capital for technology commercialization in the United States. These programs allow U.S.-owned small businesses forge academic partnerships and build businesses to engage in research and development that has a strong potential to deliver products and services to improve the health of Americans.

Sponsors of the event include the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the UW-Extension’s Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC).

“Wisconsin’s winning bid to host the 2017 HHS SBIR/SSTR conference affirms our state’s leadership in translating biohealth discoveries into scalable business models that address real-life health challenges,” said WEDC deputy secretary and chief operating officer Tricia Braun. “Federal SBIR/STTR funding combines with Wisconsin’s rich portfolio of start-up resources to fuel biohealth innovation and commercialization in our state.”

“One-on-one meetings, critical information sessions and networking opportunities greatly optimize the chances to secure seed funding,” says Center for Technology Commercialization Client Services Director Dave Linz.  “CTC and its clients have traveled all over the country to attend this conference, so we are thrilled to bring it close to home for tech entrepreneurs in Wisconsin and the Midwest to benefit.”

This year, the keynote speaker will be Dr. Walter Koroshetz, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. There will be presentations from the NIH, Small Business Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Administration for Community Living and HHS Office of the Inspector General.

Those interested in attending should register online.

About the Medical College of Wisconsin

With a history dating back to 1893, The Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and community engagement.  More than 1,200 students are enrolled in MCW’s medical school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, 56 medical students enrolled at MCW-Green Bay, and 26 students matriculated to MCW-Central Wisconsin in 2016. MCW’s School of Pharmacy will open in 2017. A major national research center, MCW is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In FY2015, faculty received more than $158 million in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Annually, MCW faculty direct or collaborate on more than 3,200 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,500 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 525,000 patients annually.

High-tech small businesses: Apply for 19th round of SBIR Advance funding

The Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) is offering a matching grant of up to $100,000 to provide additional assistance to companies in the process of completing a project in the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.