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Gov. Evers, U.S. Sen. Baldwin Announce Wisconsin’s Official Selection as a Tech Hub, Unlocking $49 Million to Grow Biohealth Economy and Create Jobs

July 2, 2024
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Regional Tech Hub announced

Tech Hub projected to bring more than 30,000 jobs and $9 billion of economic development in first 10 years to Wisconsin

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, together with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), today announced that Wisconsin has officially been selected as a U.S. Regional Tech Hub, unlocking $49 million to grow the state’s personalized medicine and biohealth sector, including advancing research and innovation, growing the state’s economy and creating jobs, and boosting American competitiveness in a cutting-edge industry. The coveted designation will allow Wisconsin’s consortium of 15 public and private partners organized by the Evers Administration through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to boost research and expand lab space, increase coordination and collaboration, improve access to capital to start and grow businesses, and further build out the personalized medicine and biohealth technology sector.

“From Microsoft’s $3.3 billion investment in an AI datacenter in Mount Pleasant to Thermo Fisher Scientific’s $58 million expansion in Middleton, we’re positioning Wisconsin as a national leader in innovative industries as we work to build the economy we need to meet the demands of the 21st century,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “I’m grateful to President Biden, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, and our federal partners for seeing the potential and promise in Wisconsin’s biotech industry and working tirelessly to help us secure these critical investments to accelerate research, grow our workforce and economy, and continue building a multi-billion-dollar industry that supports tens of thousands of jobs across our state.”

Over the first 10 years, the Tech Hub designation is projected to create more than 30,000 jobs in the personalized medicine sector and over 111,000 indirect jobs attributable to the Tech Hub in Wisconsin. Additionally, the Tech Hub is projected to create $9 billion worth of economic development in Wisconsin within the first decade.

“Today’s announcement is proof of what we as Wisconsinites have long known: We have world-class universities, a second-to-none workforce, and a thriving private sector that will drive the next wave of American innovation. Make no mistake, this investment in the Badger State will create and support thousands of good paying jobs, grow our Made in Wisconsin economy, and revolutionize health care as we know it–helping people get the care they need earlier and faster,” said U.S. Sen. Baldwin. “Today’s announcement recognizes our state’s rich history of innovation and manufacturing and doubles down on our state’s potential to be a major player in the next chapter of an up-and-coming industry.”

Today, Wisconsin was awarded a Phase 2 Implementation Grant under the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs) program. To apply for this funding, projects first had to earn a Phase I Planning Grant, which Wisconsin was selected for in October 2023. The competitive program saw more than 370 applications from 49 states and four territories.

“Today’s announcement is a win for Wisconsin,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “This award recognizes the groundbreaking potential that the collaboration between Madison and Milwaukee, between our educational institutions, our start-ups and advanced manufacturing leaders, and our world-class health care providers offers to the people of Wisconsin and to the future of patient care around the world. We are grateful to EDA and to Sen. Baldwin that the consortium WEDC has assembled will now have the resources to continue its vital work.”

The Evers Administration through the WEDC has created and led the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub Consortium, which also includes members from the University of Wisconsin System, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, GE HealthCare, Rockwell Automation, Exact Sciences Corporation, 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.

“The Phase 2 award is a pivotal opportunity for Wisconsin to demonstrate the breadth of our biohealth industry and the strength of our statewide manufacturing capabilities,” said CEO of BioForward Wisconsin Lisa Johnson. “In Wisconsin, we excel at both innovation and execution. This EDA tech hub initiative will enable us to contribute significantly to the EDA’s goals of enhancing economic and national security, as well as maintaining our competitive edge on a global scale.”

Gov. Evers and Senator Baldwin have been working together to secure Wisconsin’s designation as a Tech Hub and to advocate for continued investments in the Badger State’s growing personalized medicine and biohealth technology industry every step of the way, including:

  • January 2022: Sen. Baldwin voted to pass the CHIPS and Science Act, successfully including $500 million for the Tech Hub program to help the United States develop new technology, create jobs, and expand innovation, a provision modeled off a Brookings Institute report that identified Wisconsin as a top destination for a regional hub.
  • February 2022: Gov. Evers joined 21 other governors from across the country in sending a letter to congressional leadership in support of the CHIPS Act and to encourage swift bipartisan action to ensure its enactment.
  • March 2023: In a letter to the EDA, Sen. Baldwin urged the U.S. Department of Commerce to select Wisconsin to house one of the Tech Hubs.
  • August 2023: The Evers Administration through the WEDC established the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub Consortium to bring together 15 public and private partners to advance the state’s efforts and submitted an application the EDA to secure its designation as a Tech Hub.
  • August 2023: Sen. Baldwin advocated for Wisconsin’s application to the Tech Hubs program, highlighting the state’s potential to be on the cutting edge of the biotech and personalized medicine sector. Sen. Baldwin also hosted events in Madison and Milwaukee to call on the Biden Administration to bring a Tech Hub to the Badger State.
  • September 2023: Sen. Baldwin again called on the Biden Administration to select Wisconsin for a planning grant to advance a Biohealth Tech Hub.
  • October 2023: Gov. Evers and Sen. Baldwin announced Wisconsin was selected as one of 31 Tech Hubs nationwide and awarded a $350,000 planning grant to execute its Biohealth Tech Hub strategy, advancing Wisconsin onto Phase II to compete for an implementation grant, which was awarded today. Sen. Baldwin also rallied support from local and state partners to demonstrate Wisconsin’s commitment to bringing a Tech Hub to the state.
  • February 2024: Gov. Evers signed Senate Bill 894, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 96, providing $7.5 million to BioFoward Inc. to provide a match to a federal grant that would designate it as the lead consortium member for purposes of receiving a regional Tech Hub implementation grant.
  • February 2024: Sen. Baldwin and Gov. Evers called on the Biden Administration to support the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub’s application for implementation funding for the state.
  • June 2024: Sen. Baldwin met privately with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to make a final pitch for Wisconsin to be selected for implementation of its Biohealth Tech Hub.

More information about the EDA’s Tech Hubs program is available here.

An online version of this release is available here.

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