The Forward BIO Institute is dedicated to training the next generation of leaders in Wisconsin’s biomanufacturing industry by establishing innovative educational programs that teach both biomanufacturing and relevant business concepts.

Targeted to existing doctoral candidates or postdoctoral trainees, the Forward BIO Institute has established the Innovators in Training program. The core elements of our program expand on the participants’ graduate and post-graduate preparation, enabling their transition into the entrepreneurial and technology development workforce by providing experiential-based training in skills necessary to successfully engage across the technology ecosystem spanning business, legal, regulatory, and scientific expertise.

The Career Enhancement Opportunity program facilitates mentored career exploration for graduate students in biotechnology fields by providing internship opportunities in career environments outside of academic research. In partnership with the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, Institute-supported efforts will expand the program to engage a broader range of students throughout UW-Madison, and at partner institutions across the U.S., in preparation for understanding and solving problems in biomanufacturing-related industries.

The College of Engineering, in cooperation with the School of Business, has launched a new program offering interdisciplinary training in the rapidly evolving field of biomedical engineering product development. Supporting careers at the interface of engineering and business, this program provides both a flexible and interdisciplinary curriculum to address many needs. Students will learn in project-based classes and gain advanced knowledge in design, prototyping, and manufacturing as well as general business fundamentals, entrepreneurship, and project management.

Traditional graduate training focuses on technical skill development via coursework models siloed into specific departments and research areas. However, this method fails to provide students with the multidisciplinary training required to succeed and lead in the rapidly growing biopharma industry. This project team aims to address these critical knowledge gaps through a first-of-its-kind course which: 1) teaches industry-relevant concepts necessary for biotechnology innovation and translation, 2) directly connects lessons and classwork to real-world case studies, and 3) enables career networking. Central to this proposal is an educational pedagogy centered on direct engagement with industry partners as discussion leaders and guest lecturers with direct, and sustained, interaction to help trainees reframe their research into translational commercial value propositions. This program will promote practical training, strategic leadership, and continued education to address the challenges unique to life science technologies, and amplify our doctoral trainees as the new generation industry leaders.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: William Murphy, Forward BIO Institute Director & Professor of Biomedical Engineering

INDUSTRY PARTNERS: Promega, 3M, Catalent, Versiti, University Research Park and Venture Investors