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Where Breakthroughs Will Soon Call Home: Wisconsin’s BioAg Gateway

April 9, 2010
The Wisconsin BioAg Gateway is a visionary project being sited on Madison’s southeast side at the crossroads of Interstates 90 and 94. This location puts the BioAg Gateway at the center of the Midwest’s IQ Corridor—two hours from Chicago, an hour from Milwaukee, four to Minneapolis—and just minutes to the Dane County Regional Airport, with over 100 flights a day.

Importantly, the Gateway is a project that encompasses the natural and manmade assets of the area. The Madison Region is located in the driftless region of Southcentral—Southwest Wisconsin—the heart of “America’s Breadbasket,” between the Northwoods, the Misssissippi River Basin and the Great Lakes Basin. This location and landscape strongly inform our economy. Agriculture is a $1.86 billion industry in the Madison Region, we have the highest number of CSAs and farmers markets per capita in the region, and we are national leaders in food production and processing facilities throughout the region.  The research capacity of the University of Wisconsin—Madison works with our leading private sector companies to advance food safety, health, and to treat disease.  And we are in many ways the birthplace of the modern sustainability movement; the home of Aldo Leopold and John Muir, the launchpad for Gaylord Nelson’s Earth Day. The spirit of their work carries through to the region today in our cutting- edge R&D of bioplastics, alternative energy technologies, clean tech and environmental sciences.

So, bringing it all together, the BioAg Gateway is an ambitious project, pulling together four integral components that take agricultural products from research to development to commercialization through the MidWest BioLink Center and the BioAg Business Park; and to continue to educate about and promote both our hertiage and our future to the public through the Ag Discovery Center and Ag Showcase.

A little more about each of the four components of the BioAg Gateway:

MidWest BioLink Center: A secure, state-of-the-art research facility, the Midwest BioLink Commercialization and Business Center will provide bio and ag entrepreneurs the catalyst to take their technology to the next level and beyond.

  • Experimentation and prototyping flex space

  • Controlled environment facility

  • Plant science commercialization greenhouse

  • Office and lab space

  • Pilot processing

  • Conference and meeting space

  • Business services and financial assistance

BioAg Business Park: The BioAg Business Park will help bio and ag companies turn their breakthroughs into successful business ventures by quickly getting them up and running.

  • Building sites and commercial office space

  • Over 20 existing bio and ag businesses

  • Nearby resources:

    • Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

    • Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene

    • UW Extension Ag Facility

  • Easy access to city, region and county

Wisconsin Ag Showcase: A regional showpiece for visitors from around the globe, the Wisconsin Ag Showcase will demonstrate the area’s vast agricultural diversity and commitment to sustainability.

  • Ag crop and renewable energy showcase

  • Trade groups and corporate partners

  • Best practice demonstrations

  • Field test plots

  • Ag and bio exhibits

  • Pantry gardens

Wisconsin Ag Discovery Center: A space designed for opening eyes, minds and doors, the Wisconsin Ag Discovery Center will educate visitors on all the amazing advancements taking place in the state.

  • Interactive center communicating and demonstrating invention

  • Emerging ag technology exhibits

  • Future of BioAg economy and new opportunities

  • Trailhead to state resources and innovators

  • Hands-on services for growers and ag entrepreneurs

  • BioAg success stories

You can find the BioAg Gateway at BIO 2010 in the Wisconsin Paviliion: 4107

Jennifer Smith, Thrive | |Twitter:
Thrive is the economic development enterprise for the 8-county Madison, Wisconsin Region.