Building a Regional Bioscience Ecosystem – Inaugural Midwest BioDefense Summit Brings Together Talent, Ideas and Opportunity

Inaugural Midwest BioDefense Summit Brings Together Talent, Ideas and Opportunity

The region’s bioscience and medical devices industry is not only a powerhouse for economic growth, it helps improve and save lives. The GFMEDC, in partnership with the Bioscience Association of North Dakota, North Dakota Department of Commerce, and North Dakota Department of Agriculture, hosted the inaugural Midwest BioDefense Summit.

The two-day summit highlighted the recent growth and potential for the region’s biodefense and bioscience industry and included national thought leaders who discussed best practices in the emerging industry.

The Summit highlighted innovative research and development at NDSU and partnerships between NDSU and UND leading to the joint Biomedical Engineering Program.

Attendees learned about local biotech entrepreneurs like Checkable Health developing what will be the first FDA approved at-home strep throat test. Other local bioscience companies including Agathos, Lincoln Therapeutics, BRAiN, and Aldevron shared how they are champions for expanding the bioscience ecosystem in our region and demonstrated how their technologies are improving and saving lives.

Sharing Expertise

Experts and companies traveled from across the United States to engage and explore collaborative opportunities for future expansion into our region.

Dave Pickles, CEO of Your Performance Lab based in the United Kingdom, shared his work to increase quality of life and to help save lives through overlaying wearable metrics and results from tailored blood tests. Pickles noted that this technological platform will help save time, reduce cost, and provide effective triage through high touch between the medical team and patient.

Lynn Langit, a consultant in the Minneapolis area focused on big data and cloud architecture, helped bridge the gap between data storage, cloud computing, and bioscience through her expertise with bioinformatics. Langit is virtually collaborating with a bioinformatics company in Sydney, Australia to leverage modern cloud architectures to scale genomic research and tools for use world-wide.

Finally, companies including CorVent Medical, Imricor, SafetySpect, and ComDel Innovation shared how their medical and biotech devices are creating a lasting impact by promoting healthier outcomes, detecting risks earlier, and saving lives.

During the summit, attendees also had the opportunity to network with current and former members of the National Department of Defense and learn how businesses and universities can more effectively collaborate with DoD on research and development.

Venturing into Capital

Attendees learned about ways to fund their next big venture in the biodefense space. For example, Andy Quinn of McAllister & Quinn shared how companies may access funding opportunities by pitching their biomedical innovation to the Advanced Research Projects for Health (ARPA-H) as part of a program managed by the National Institutes of Health. Patrick Plues, Vice President of State Government Affairs at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, noted that companies and entrepreneurs should focus on capitalizing on our central geography and educated workforce. Investors from BisonX, Gener8tor, and Badlands Capital offered their insights into accessing vital funding.

The Inaugural Midwest BioDefense Summit provided business and community leaders as well as students with the opportunity to learn about the industry, understand best practices and network with state and national experts.

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