South Dakota Biotech announces annual awards, board members

South Dakota Biotech, the state affiliate of the Biotech Industry Organization, has honored two key leaders in advancing the state’s biotech industry with its sixth annual awards for excellence.

Dave Link has been named the 2019 recipient of South Dakota Biotech’s LIVE award, recognizing Leadership, Innovation, Vision and Excellence.

A veteran health care leader who has spent his career driving innovation, Link’s 20-year tenure as executive vice president of Sanford Health helped created a foundation of strategic development and research that has positioned the health system as an international leader. Most recently, his work at Dakota State University has been critical to creating a center of research, education and ultimately economic development around cybersecurity.

Dan Engebretson was honored with South Dakota Biotech’s Distinguished Collaborator Award for his work at the center of connecting higher education and industry in South Dakota. As chair of the biomedical engineering program at USD and director of the GEAR Center, his work is critical to fostering biotech talent and business growth in our state. His vision for the future, combined with a can-do spirit and openness to partnerships of all kinds, makes him a key collaborator in the South Dakota biotech industry.

“Both Dave and Dan have been critical to growing the bioscience economy in South Dakota,” said Joni Johnson, executive director of South Dakota Biotech.

“They are building our workforce, building key relationships and building an infrastructure that is going to support so much spin-off activity in the biotech industry. We’re happy to honor their contributions.”

The awards were presented Oct. 8 at Breakthrough, South Dakota Biotech’s annual industry summit.

South Dakota Biotech also elected members to its 13-person board of directors. They are:

Jeff Steinle, Fredrikson & Byron PA, newly elected to a three-year term.
Ralph Davis, South Dakota School of Mines, elected to finish the term for a vacancy through 2020.
Kipp Erickson, RTI LLC, elected to finish the term for a vacancy through 2020.
Dan Engebretson, USD, re-elected to a three-year term.
Steve Statz, Avera Health, re-elected to a three-year term.

Christoph Bausch of SAB Biotherapeutics also was named board treasurer.
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