Wisconsin has received official designation as a Regional Technology Hub from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). This designation clears the way for Wisconsin to compete for up to $75 million in federal investments, and right away Wisconsin will receive a $350,000 grant for strategic development.
Personalized medicine—including genomic innovation, advanced imaging, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence—will be a major focus of the hub; it will also include a Patient Advisory Group with a goal of improving medical care and ensuring that real patient needs are steering the hub’s direction.
Wisconsin is already beginning to see the benefits: When Microsoft recently announced plans to invest billions to expand its data center footprint in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, the company cited the Regional Technology Hub designation as one of the reasons it chose to expand here.
Ongoing collaboration through the hub “enables many of the key stakeholders in this vibrant field to research, think, and plan collectively instead of working through challenges on their own,” said Aaron Olver, chair of the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub Consortium, which formed for the purpose of enhancing collaboration and pursuing the federal designation. “By working together, we can speed up innovation, share resources and knowledge, and advance promising treatments to improve patients’ lives.”
In its application, the consortium noted that the goals of Wisconsin’s Regional Technology Hub would include leveraging shared data and systems to drive innovation and scale up operations to a global level; aligning and scaling the supply chain and manufacturing sector; improving access to capital to start and grow businesses; increasing lab space and expanding opportunities for worker housing and transportation; and ensuring that people across Wisconsin, including rural and traditionally underserved communities, can share in the benefits of the sector’s growth.
The consortium brought a broad swath of collaborators to the table—members included WEDC, the University of Wisconsin System Administration, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, GE HealthCare, Rockwell Automation, Exact Sciences Corp., BioForward Wisconsin, Employ Milwaukee, Accuray, Plexus, WRTP Big Step, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Madison Area Technical College, the Madison Regional Economic Partnership (MadREP), and Milwaukee7—with a goal of expanding opportunities throughout Wisconsin. Read more about the Regional Tech Hub’s impact.