The Center for Technology Commercialization and
the Forward BIO Institute
One of the most daunting aspects of starting a technology-based business is understanding how to access the complex non-dilutive federal funding opportunities available to an early-stage emerging technology business. Wisconsin is incredibly fortunate to have the Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC)  and its team of expert commercialization consultants available to provide guidance, support, and the resources needed to bring innovative ideas to market.
Successfully garnering Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funds requires more than just a great innovation; it takes a strong business case, a compelling narrative that clearly articulates the benefit of the technology, and a solid plan to demonstrate the feasibility of translating the idea into a marketable product. CTC provides numerous educational offerings, as well as one-on-one assistance, where CTC’s economic development advocates and technology and commercialization experts work directly with clients to develop and enhance competitive advantages. 
"As Technical Lead for an Institute Catapult project , I recently participated in CTC’s SBIR Ready Program. I found the training to be incredibly valuable, with CTC’s staff providing guidance on crafting project scope, budgets, and other key proposal components. With their support, I have gained confidence and a greater understanding of what is required to be competitive for SBIR/STTR funding."

- John Krutty, Innovation Associate
Forward BIO Institute
With CTC’s no-cost assistance, small businesses are able to more readily identify early non-dilutive funding opportunities, craft a competitive proposal, and navigate the extensive application process. CTC’s pre-submission review program even enables companies to receive feedback from a mock review panel, offering insight as to how a proposal may be received and an opportunity to address deficiencies prior to submission. For projects within the Institute’s Catapult Program pursuing a path to commercialization as a UW spinout, it is a natural progression to work with CTC to identify funding opportunities and enhance the likelihood of SBIR/STTR success by leveraging their expertise.
“Many of our clients are new startups from the University that need facilities and space to call their own while preparing to apply for an SBIR/STTR grant. Forward BIO fills that need in a valuable and unique way.”

- Todd Strother, Senior Technology Consultant
Center for Technology Commercialization
As part of the UW System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship, and partially funded by WEDC, the CTC is aligned with the Forward BIO Institute to advance promising innovations along the path to commercialization, and catapult groundbreaking technologies into the private sector. Funding via SBIR/STTR programs are critically important resources for Wisconsin’s start-up community, providing early-stage companies financial support, as well as validating the scientific basis of a company’s technology through peer review by a panel of independent experts.

For more established companies, the SBIR/STTR program fosters growth by funding investigation into new application areas or by supporting incremental but necessary advancements for FDA-regulated technologies.
This May, the Forward BIO Institute will hold a virtual Annual Meeting, envisioned to be the first of two membership-focused events in 2021. The theme of our meeting is “Collaborative Innovation”, emphasizing the role public-private partnerships play in advancing next generation technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace.
This event will highlight the numerous advancements the Institute has made over the past 18 months at the intersection of biomanufacturing research, entrepreneurship, and workforce development. To maximize accessibility, the meeting will host both pre-recorded content and live interaction Q&A sessions, as well as networking opportunities. Speaker information and event specifics will be released in April, so keep an eye out for updates!
Meet the Innovators in Training
As part of our continuing "Meet the Innovators in Training" campaign, we are proud to to introduce you to Aicha Quamine (left) and Liz Appelt (right). Aicha is a 3rd year PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Biology Program, and Liz is in her 2nd year of the Chemical and Biological Engineering PhD Program.
Visit our website to learn more about the Innovators in Training Program, and remember to click on any “Meet the Trainee” tab to hear the trainees describe, in their own words, the value they have found in the program.
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