More than a dozen businesses, colleges and economic development agencies are working with state and federal officials to win federal funding for a Wisconsin medical sciences technology hub.
The proposed Wisconsin Biotech Hub focuses on existing biotechnology and personalized medicine expertise at companies and universities which are largely located in the Milwaukee and Madison areas. Personalized medicine uses a person’s genetic profile to guide medical decisions about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.
The hub designation would make the state eligible for $50 million to $75 million in federal funding through the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act.
In funding for the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program, the law aims to encourage and support creation of regional technology hubs to spur scientific advances and bolster domestic research, manufacturing and jobs.
Missy Hughes, secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., said the decision to focus Wisconsin’s application on biotech was guided in part by the advice of Alejandra Castillo, head of the U.S. Economic Development Administration, to present proposals for “a tech hub that’s on the edge of glory.”
Between the state’s universities and technical colleges, biotech firms like Exact Sciences in Madison and advanced manufacturers like Rockwell Automation and GE HealthCare, the state has just that, Hughes said. And it has the advantage that those key players already are working collaboratively.
“What we see in Wisconsin is a corridor of the biotech industry between Madison and Milwaukee and then extending to the Fox River Valley and Eau Claire, and that industry has already started collaborating and working together with each other, but then also with the universities and with the Medical College,” she said. “The regional tech hub gives us the opportunity to develop that further and then to really start to play into the development of the workforce around that industry.”
[Adapted from: Biotech Hub Consortium aims to accelerate Wisconsin’s leadership in biohealth, personalized medicine. Aug. 31, 2023, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]