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WI Science & Technology Symposium recap

Posted on Jul 23, 2013
UW-Superior was proud to host the sixth annual WI-Sys Conference: Nurturing Innovation, Advancing Wisconsin.
click to enlarge
Senior chemistry major Colton Kennedy presenting his research at the conference in the Yellowjacket Union

Senior chemistry major Colton Kennedy presenting his research at the conference in the Yellowjacket Union

More than 150 people from around the state of Wisconsin gathered at UW-Superior in an effort to link entrepreneurs, investors and educators with innovative research to establish collaborative partnerships around the state.

The two-day conference in Superior also featured scientific leaders and economic development experts. The goal was to promote and foster jobs and economic development throughout the state of Wisconsin, while at the same time grow and support research at the faculty and undergraduate levels as well.

Now in its sixth year, the Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium nurtures innovation to advance Wisconsin.Two regents from the UW System also took part, Mark Bradley and Tim Higgins, along with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Reed Hall.

University of Wisconsin-Superior Chancellor Renee Wachter welcomed those in attendance on Monday afternoon especially the students who traveled all across the state to display posters of their research. She focused her remarks on how UW-Superior and the rest of the UW System can connect with local and regional business leaders and economic development organizations to foster growth in all parts of the state by partnering education with business.

"We know a liberal arts education is going to help all areas to make this country thrive in the 21st century," she said."We know technology is going to exceed our imagination.So to succeed we need a workforce with an education that will bridge that gap between art and science and we must lead this challenge with our programs."

Wachter said four core elements are key to future economic development partnerships:

  1. Building capacity for faculty and undergraduate research.
  2. Building regional partnerships with business groups and organizations.
  3. Grow and sustain a competitive workforce for the future.
  4. Produce students that can quickly learn and adapt to new subjects and information.

One of the featured freshwater research workshops was held Tuesday morning. Dr. Mary Balcer, director of UW-Superior's Lake Superior Research Institute and Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, discussed the technological developments and accompanying challenges of evaluating effective ballast water treatment systems, which have been imposed in ships to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. Dr. Shon Schooler, Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve Research Coordinator, discussed the role of technology in water quality monitoring and explore the technological tools used by the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) and how they contribute to environmental management goals.

Additional highlights included a workshop on entrepreneurship and intellectual property. The symposium offered an opportunity for companies to learn more about advancing technology through participation in innovative research programs with UW faculty.

Major sponsors for the event, organized by WiSys Technology Foundation, were the University of Wisconsin-Superior, the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and WiSys Technology Foundation. WiSys is leading a statewide effort to bring UW faculty together with clinical and company researchers for joint technology development and economic growth.

News Contact: Tom Hansen | 715-394-8260 | thansen7{atuws}
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