Wisconsin biotech industry optimistic about state’s Foxconn win

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Wisconsin’s biotech industry sees opportunity in Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn’s decision to spend $10 billion on a 3,000-employee plant in the state’s southeast.

That’s because the 8K liquid crystal display (LCD) screens made at the new Foxconn campus could enable new medical solutions for surgical procedures, according to BioForward Wisconsin.

“BioForward and Wisconsin’s biohealth community welcomes Foxconn to the state and looks forward to opportunities for collaboration,” BioForward Wisconsin CEO Lisa Johnson said in a news release. “Attracting a technology leader such as Foxconn will benefit Wisconsin in numerous ways from high-tech job opportunities, industry collaborations, and benefiting Wisconsin’s extensive state-wide supply chain.”

BioForward Wisconsin noted that Foxconn has a large healthcare division and that the company’s chairman Terry Gou has made large investments in Taipei’s Cancer Center and provided major funding to medical research.

“We’re thrilled Foxconn has chosen Wisconsin for the 8K display manufacturing plant and technology campus, and we’re excited to develop this relationship with Foxconn to further support their interest in healthcare as part of their U.S. expansion strategy,” Johnson said.

President Donald Trump touted Foxconn’s decision to build the plant during an event yesterday in the White House’s East Room. He was joined by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican expected to face a tough re-election fight in 2018, as well as House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose district in Wisconsin includes the new plant site.

Trump said the factory has the “potential for up to 13,000 jobs in the very near future,” according to his prepared remarks.

“The construction of this facility represents the return of LCD electronics and electronics manufacturing to the United States, the country that we love. That’s where we want our jobs,” Trump said.

Walker has said Foxconn will receive up to $3 billion in tax breaks for choosing Wisconsin. The company hasn’t yet announced a specific plant site in Ryan’s district.

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