Wisconsin will be home to a new biohealth tech hub, a designation meant to spur innovation and create jobs in the state’s growing biohealth sector, the Biden administration announced on Monday.
The White House designated 32 technology hubs across the country and in Puerto Rico, including one in Wisconsin that will serve the Madison and Milwaukee-Waukesha metropolitan areas.
The Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub will be led by BioForward Wisconsin, a nonprofit aimed at growing the state’s biohealth companies. The hub aims to “position Wisconsin as a global leader in personalized medicine,” and will focus on an emerging health care approach that focuses on tailoring tests, treatments, and therapies to better align with a given patient’s “unique genetic code, medical record, and environment.”
Additionally, the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub will expand lab space and computing capacity, advance the field of critical genomic technology, facilitate manufacturing coordination and data sharing, and accelerate domestic biotech manufacturing.
“We’re going to invest in critical technologies like biotechnology, critical materials, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing — so the US will lead the world again in innovation across the board,” President Biden said at the White House on Monday. “I truly believe this country is about to take off.”
The designation of these 32 hubs is the result of a process launched in May by the Commerce Department to distribute $500 million in grants to these cities. Wisconsin can now compete for up to $75 million of those funds. The money comes from a $10 billion allocation authorized in last year’s CHIPS and Science Act, which invested billions of dollars into semiconductor research, development, and production.
The program, formally known as the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program, is an attempt to expand tech investment beyond the few US cities it’s currently concentrated in. The program also ties into President Biden’s economic agenda—dubbed “Bidenomics”–-which is based on the premise that people should be able to find good jobs where they live.
These tech hubs will also receive support to attract foreign investment and technical assistance from other federal agencies including the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, and the Small Business Administration.
“Wisconsin’s designation as a regional tech hub is a testament to the strength of our state’s biohealth and personalized medicine industry,” Evers said in a statement. “As this sector continues to grow, it will mean more high-paying jobs and economic growth for our state, as well as innovations that will transform the future of medical care for people in Wisconsin and around the world.”
“Wisconsin has a long and proud tradition of innovation, and bringing a tech hub to Wisconsin will help us continue that legacy into the future,” Sen. Baldwin added.
“The combination of the consortium and the regional tech hub designation enables many of the key stakeholders in this vibrant field to research, think, and plan collectively instead of working through challenges on their own,” Aaron Olver, chair of the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub Consortium, said.
The other regional tech hubs announced on Monday are located in Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Montana, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Virginia, New Hampshire, Missouri, Kansas, Maryland, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Minnesota, Louisiana, Idaho, Wyoming, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New York, Nevada, Missouri, Oregon, Vermont, Ohio, Maine, Washington, and Puerto Rico.
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