Wisconsin Consortium Proposes Regional Tech Hub in Biohealth and Precision Manufacturing
A group of industry leaders in Wisconsin has come together to propose the creation of a Regional Technology and Innovations Hub in the state. Composed of representatives from various sectors, including science, technology, manufacturing, and education, the consortium aims to position Wisconsin as a leader in biohealth and precision manufacturing.
The proposal, which has been submitted to the Economic Development Administration (EDA), aligns with the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act and falls under the EDA’s Tech Hubs Program. This program seeks to boost the U.S. economy and national security by nurturing emerging industries and promoting job growth.
Wisconsin’s biohealth sector, which includes areas such as biotech, biopharma, medical devices, and digital health, has been a significant contributor to the state’s economy. In 2022 alone, the sector had an economic impact of over $32 billion and provided employment for more than 129,000 individuals.
The consortium believes that obtaining the Tech Hub designation would solidify Wisconsin’s position as a global leader in biohealth technology. It would also serve to attract talent, foster innovation, and draw global companies to the state. The leadership in personalized medicine, imaging, genomics, and data analytics, guided by artificial intelligence and machine learning, positions Wisconsin as a pioneer in healthcare innovation.
To achieve Tech Hub designation, the EDA’s application process consists of two phases. In Phase 1, the EDA designates a minimum of 20 Tech Hubs and allocates funds for strategy development. Phase 1 recipients are then invited to apply for Phase 2, with 5 to 10 recipients receiving federal grants ranging from $50 to $75 million to support projects aligned with the program’s goals.
The consortium driving the application for Tech Hub Phase 1 includes BioForward, Accuray, Employ Milwaukee, Exact Sciences, GE HealthCare, Madison Area Technical College, MadREP, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee7, Rockwell Automation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and WRTP | Big Step.
BioForward Wisconsin, a network of health solution leaders, is leading the consortium in crafting the application and reporting requirements. With over 230 member organizations, BioForward focuses on strengthening Wisconsin’s biohealth industry.
If successful, the Regional Technology and Innovations Hub would not only contribute to Wisconsin’s economic growth but also position the state at the forefront of transformative advancements in biohealth and precision manufacturing. The consortium’s proposal highlights the potential for Wisconsin to become a globally competitive innovation center over the next decade.
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Rissa Guffey (she/her)
Director of Marketing & Communications