Wisconsin Celebrates Tech Hub Status and $49M Investment in Biohealth

The announcement that Wisconsin has been officially designated as a U.S. Regional Tech Hub is a game-changer for the state’s biohealth and personalized medicine sectors. This milestone brings with it a $49 million federal grant designed to boost research, innovation, and job creation. For biohealth industry professionals, investors, and site selectors, this news marks a significant step forward in establishing Wisconsin as a leader in cutting-edge health technologies. Read on to discover how this development will impact the region and what you can expect in the coming years.

Today’s Announcement and its Impact on Wisconsin

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has approved $49 million in Phase 2 funding for the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub. This approval is part of the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program and positions Wisconsin as one of just 12 Tech Hubs across the nation to receive such funding. The announcement is a testament to the state’s growing influence in the biohealth sector and its potential to lead in personalized medicine.

Madison Region’s Growing Role as a Biohealth Leader

For the Madison Region, this designation means significant economic growth and job creation. The Tech Hub is projected to create up to 30,000 jobs over the next decade and generate $9 billion in economic activity. The Madison Regional Economic Partnership (MadREP) will play a crucial role in these developments, working alongside other consortium members to implement technology and workforce projects.

MadREP will be instrumental in coordinating efforts between public and private partners. This includes managing projects that span from health data analytics to mobile cancer screening initiatives. By leveraging its local expertise and industry connections, MadREP will ensure that the Madison Region fully capitalizes on this opportunity.

“This is a landmark achievement for Wisconsin’s Madison Region,” said MadREP CEO Jason M. Fields. “The $49 million in funding will not only bolster our biohealth capabilities but also set the stage for long-term economic growth and job creation. We’re excited to be part of the team leading this charge and demonstrate the power of collaborative innovation.”

Madison is already well-known for its concentration of bioscience companies. This sector has been a driving force behind the regional economy, supporting thousands of high-paying jobs and fostering innovation. The new funding will only strengthen this sector, providing resources to expand lab space, enhance research capabilities, and improve manufacturing coordination.

What’s Next for Wisconsin?

Looking ahead, Wisconsin and the Madison Region will focus on several key projects to advance personalized medicine and biohealth technologies. These include:

  1. Wisconsin Health Data – Led by UW-Madison, this project aims to accelerate product development and improve clinical treatments through personalized health data.
  2. CAREScan Mobile Cancer Screening – Managed by the Medical College of Wisconsin, this initiative will deploy mobile screening units to increase early cancer detection rates.
  3. Image-Guided Personalized Therapies – Overseen by GE Healthcare, this project will integrate AI and personalized health data to develop new therapeutic technologies.

These projects are expected to have a far-reaching impact, not just in terms of healthcare outcomes but also in driving economic development. By fostering innovation and collaboration among various stakeholders, Wisconsin aims to set a new standard in biohealth technology.

Engaging the Biohealth Community

MadREP is committed to fostering a sense of community among economic developers and biohealth professionals. Are you an ED pro? Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming events where you can learn more about the Tech Hub’s initiatives and how you can get involved. Sign up today to stay updated on all the latest news and opportunities.

Call to Congress

While today’s announcement is a significant achievement, the work is far from over. The Chamber and consortium members call on Congress to fully fund the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program to its authorized amount of $10 billion. This additional funding is crucial to maximizing the program’s potential and ensuring sustained innovation and economic growth.

Final Thoughts

The designation of Wisconsin as a U.S. Regional Tech Hub is a monumental step forward for the state’s biohealth sector. With $49 million in federal funding and the promise of creating thousands of jobs, the future looks incredibly bright for the Madison Region. This achievement underscores the importance of collaboration, innovation, and strategic investment in driving economic growth and improving healthcare outcomes.

The Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub is set to revolutionize the industry, and we invite you to be part of this transformative journey. Sign up today to get involved and make a lasting impact.

For further details, visit the Wisconsin Tech Hub website and stay connected with the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub community.

Wisconsin Gears Up for More Fab Labs in 2024

2024 is shaping up to be an exciting year for education and workforce development in Southcentral Wisconsin, as the region prepares to welcome a new wave of fab labs. These high-technology workshops are set to revolutionize how students and professionals engage with science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). Let’s explore what this means for the Madison Region.

“Fab labs are a cornerstone of our commitment to fostering innovation and economic growth in the Madison Region. By providing state-of-the-art technological resources and hands-on learning opportunities, we are equipping the next generation with the skills and creativity necessary to excel in an increasingly competitive global market.”

Jason M. Fields, CEcD, CFEI, CCRS, President & CEO of MadREP

The 2024 Fab Labs Awards Announcement

In April 2024, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Governor Tony Evers announced a significant investment in the state’s educational infrastructure. Over $493,000 in grants have been distributed among 18 school districts to establish or expand fab labs. This initiative is a strategic move to equip students with the skills needed for the modern workforce and ensure that Wisconsin remains competitive in a rapidly evolving economic landscape.

Fab Labs in the Madison Region

The Madison Region, comprised of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Iowa, Green, Jefferson, Rock and Sauk counties, is a hotspot for these new developments. four school districts in our Region (Deerfield Community School District, DeForest Area School District, Fall River School District and Waunakee Community School District) have been awarded fab lab grants, bringing the total number of fab lab awards in the Region to an impressive twenty-six. These grants represent a commitment to fostering innovation and providing students with hands-on learning experiences.

What Are Fab Labs?

Fab labs, short for fabrication laboratories, are high-technology workshops equipped with state-of-the-art manufacturing components like 3D printers, laser engravers, computer numerical control (CNC) routers, and plasma cutters. These facilities enable students and professionals to design, prototype, and create physical objects, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.

The Role of Fab Labs in Workforce Development

Fab labs play a crucial role in workforce development by providing students with practical experience in STEAM fields. They help cultivate a skilled workforce ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st-century economy. By engaging with advanced technologies, students gain valuable skills that are directly applicable to industries such as manufacturing, engineering, and design.

Other Districts Receiving Fab Lab Awards

In addition to the schools in the Madison Region, several other districts across Wisconsin have received fab lab grants, including:

  • Butternut School District – $22,000
  • Racine Unified School District – $25,000
  • Tri County Area School District, Plainfield – $25,000
  • CESA 3 (Consortium) – Fennimore – $47,396
  • Hayward Community School District – $25,000
  • School District of Nekoosa – $25,000
  • New Lisbon School District – $25,000
  • Random Lake School District – $24,300
  • St. Croix Central School District – $25,000
  • Washington Island School District – $25,000
  • Weyauwega-Fremont School District – $25,000
  • Whitehall School District (Consortium) – $50,000

The Impact of Fab Labs on the Community

The introduction of fab labs has a ripple effect that extends beyond the classroom. These facilities serve as hubs for innovation and collaboration, bringing together students, educators, and industry professionals. They foster a culture of creativity and problem-solving, encouraging participants to think critically and develop solutions to real-world challenges.

Why Fab Labs Are Essential for Future Growth

In an era where technology is rapidly advancing, it is essential to equip the next generation with the skills and knowledge required to succeed. Fab labs provide a unique opportunity for students to engage with cutting-edge technologies and develop a deep understanding of STEAM subjects. This hands-on experience is invaluable in preparing them for future careers.

How Fab Labs Enhance Learning

Fab labs offer an interactive and immersive learning environment that goes beyond traditional classroom teaching. Students can see their ideas come to life as they work on projects that require critical thinking and technical skills. This experiential learning approach helps students retain information better and fosters a love for learning.

The Role of Educators in Fab Labs

Educators play a pivotal role in the success of fab labs. They guide students through the learning process, helping them understand complex concepts and encouraging them to explore new ideas. Professional development for teachers is also essential to ensure they are well-equipped to utilize fab lab resources effectively.

Success Stories from Fab Labs

There are countless success stories from schools that have integrated fab labs into their curriculum. For instance, students at Seymour High School have used their fab lab to develop innovative projects, ranging from robotics to custom-designed furniture. Projects like these not only enhance their technical skills but also boost their confidence and creativity.

Future Prospects for Fab Labs in Wisconsin

The future looks bright for fab labs in Wisconsin. With continued support from the WEDC and state government, more schools will have access to these valuable resources. WEDC will provide grants of up to $25,000 to eligible Wisconsin public school districts, or up to $50,000 to consortiums of two or more public school districts, for the creation and/or expansion of fabrication laboratories within the school district(s). Visit WEDC’s fab lab resource page to learn more.

How to Get Involved with Fab Labs

If you are interested in fab labs, consider collaborating with local schools, participating in workshops and training sessions, or even setting up a fab lab in your community. WEDC’s fab lab resource page offers valuable information on getting started.

The expansion of fab labs in Southcentral Wisconsin is a significant step towards building a brighter future for students and professionals alike. These high-technology workshops provide invaluable hands-on learning experiences, prepare students for future careers, and foster a culture of innovation and creativity.

If you’re passionate about education and technology, now is the perfect time to get involved and make a difference. Explore the opportunities that fab labs offer and join the movement towards a more skilled and innovative workforce. For more information on how to set up a fab lab or to access resources, visit the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s website.

The 2023 Wisconsin Games Alliance M+DEV Conference: A Hub for Game Development and Innovation

Jason Fields MadREP CEO Panel Discussion Gaming Event
Jason M. Fields, MadREP CEO and experienced economic development professional, recently participated in a panel discussion focused on the thriving gaming sector in Wisconsin’s Madison Region.

The Wisconsin Games Alliance M+DEV conference in 2023 signaled an exciting shift in the gaming industry landscape. With participation soaring up by 60% from the previous year, the event attracted over 750 in-person attendees and 100 online participants, underscoring the vibrant growth of the gaming sector in Wisconsin.

The global games industry, generating a staggering $190 billion in annual revenue, is witnessing an increasing concentration of major studios in Wisconsin. With big players like Microsoft, Krafton, Gearbox/Embracer Group, Entertainment Arts, and Epic Games now calling Wisconsin home, the state is emerging as a significant hotspot for game development.

One of the highlights of the conference was the revelation of why Entertainment Arts chose Wisconsin as the location for its third Respawn Studios, joining its other establishments in Los Angeles and Vancouver. The decision was influenced by factors such as Wisconsin’s high quality of life, lower cost of living, and abundance of talent in the gaming industry. The state’s favorable conditions also enable companies to implement a hybrid model, which is increasingly popular due to shorter commute times.

Despite these advantages, industry leaders suggested that one area that Madison could improve to further support the sector is by increasing the number of direct flights. This unexpected but crucial insight underscores the global nature of the gaming industry and the importance of connectivity in fostering its growth.

The landscape of game development and eSports has never been more exciting, and the Wisconsin Games Alliance M+DEV conference stands as testament to this. As the average salary in game development hovers around $120K per year, the sector promises fruitful careers and a thriving industry, shaping Wisconsin as a magnet for talent and innovation in the gaming realm.

The Madison Region Economic Partnership played a pivotal role in the creation of M+DEV and the Wisconsin Games Alliance, cementing Wisconsin’s position in the global gaming industry. Our dedicated efforts in fostering partnerships, promoting regional growth, and aligning economic development strategies have not only attracted gaming giants to the region but also nurtured local talent. By recognizing the enormous potential of the gaming industry and its capacity to stimulate economic growth, the Madison Region Economic Partnership has been instrumental in transforming Wisconsin into a vibrant hub of game development and e-sports. It serves as a testament to how strategic leadership, coupled with a supportive environment, can unlock a region’s potential and shape its future.

MadREP & Partners Steer the State’s Tech Transformation, Achieving Regional Tech Hub Designation

In a historic move underscoring Wisconsin’s prowess in the realm of biohealth technology, the Biden-Harris administration, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) designated the state as a Regional Technology Hub (RTH). This monumental achievement was celebrated by an array of key figures, including the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP), who were acknowledged alongside Exact Sciences, Governor Tony Evers, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Together, we continue to champion Wisconsin’s leadership in personalized medicine and biohealth technology.

Governor Evers noted, “Wisconsin’s designation as a Regional Tech Hub is a testament to the strength of our state’s biohealth and personalized medicine industry. 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.”

Senator Baldwin, a staunch advocate for Wisconsin’s tech industry, emphasized the state’s rich tradition of innovation and the transformative potential of the Tech Hub program. She highlighted the significance of fostering collaboration and creating opportunities, sentiments echoed and amplified by MadREP.

“I’d like to congratulate our partners in this endeavor, especially BioForward Wisconsin, Exact Sciences and Senator Tammy Baldwin. To be part of the coalition that came together to form the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub Consortium is an experience I, along with the rest of my team at MadREP, won’t soon forget,” said Jason Fields, CEcD, CFEI, CCRS, President and CEO of the Madison Region Economic Partnership.

“The future of Wisconsin’s personalized medicine tech hub will spur growth throughout our key industry sectors in southcentral Wisconsin. I’d also like to thank our friends at EDA. It’s an honor to work with them daily on initiatives like this one to advance economic growth and equity in the Madison Region. In fact, they recently asked our organization to pursue the Economic Development District (EDD) designation on behalf of the Region to expand opportunities to do just that!”

At the heart of this transformative journey lies the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub Consortium, a collaborative effort bringing together 15 public and private partners, including esteemed entities like GE HealthCare, Rockwell Automation, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This coalition, uniting educational institutions, biohealth companies, precision manufacturers, and investors, aims to enhance collaboration and secure the coveted RTH designation.

The RTH designation holds the promise of transformative change, promising shared data systems, streamlined supply chains, improved access to capital, and equitable opportunities for all Wisconsinites. With Madison, Dane County’s vibrant economic epicenter, at its core, the RTH initiative is poised to not only bolster the local economy but also create a ripple effect felt across the entire state.

A cornerstone of the consortium’s vision is personalized medicine, a field poised to revolutionize healthcare. By tailoring treatments to individual patients’ specific medical needs, this approach promises faster healing, reduced reliance on chronic care, minimized side effects, and equitable healthcare access, aligning perfectly with MadREP’s vision of a thriving and healthy community.

“The Regional Tech Hub designation confirms what we already know about Wisconsin: when it comes to bringing together the best in research and development, cutting-edge manufacturing, highly skilled and educated workers, and a commitment to relentless improvement, no state is better prepared to lead the way, said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “This is a huge win in creating an economy for all, where everyone has the opportunity to live healthy, prosperous lives.”

Wisconsin’s designation as a Regional Technology Hub marks a pivotal moment in the state’s history. It signifies not just progress but a testament to the power of collaborative vision and dedicated leadership. As Wisconsin steps into this new era of innovation, it does so leading the charge, inspiring other regions and states to dream big, collaborate fervently, and, above all, believe in the transformative power of united effort.

MadREP Announces Entrepreneur Bootcamp in Partnership with Lightship Foundation & The American Family Insurance Institute

Lightship’s Bootcamp is a free entrepreneurship education program, serving underrepresented early-stage business founders.

Lightship Bootcamp is coming to Madison, WI. September 19-21, 2023.

Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) and Lightship Foundation unveiled plans to bring the Lightship Bootcamp program, powered by the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact (the Institute) to the Madison Region. The organizations will host three days of “bootcamp” (September 19-21, 2023) at the Goodman South campus of Madison College, providing mentorship, specialized curriculum, and networking for underrepresented entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses within South Central Wisconsin.

“We’re ecstatic to unite with the American Family Institute to introduce Lightship Bootcamps to Madison, Wisconsin,” says Candice Matthews Brackeen, CEO, Lightship Foundation. “Our aspiration is for this partnership to ignite the flames of innovation and opportunity, enriching neighborhoods and empowering founders from diverse backgrounds.”

Bootcamp is designed to help founders rediscover, refine, and reinvent their business strategy while reevaluating their product, sales, and marketing strategies. Interested founders should apply now at

“Equitability, accessibility and inclusivity is sewn into the very fabric of everything we do. When we prioritize equitableness and strategically create opportunities, exciting things start to happen.”

MadREP President & CEO Jason M. Fields, CEcD, CFEI, CCRS

The Madison Region’s upcoming Lightship Bootcamp also serves as the first formal program under the Economic Equity & Investment priority of the organization’s newly formed “Bridge Wisconsin” initiative led by Bridge Wisconsin Chief Strategy Officer Tonnetta Darcel Carter. The initiative works collaboratively to close economic gaps and drive innovation for rural and urban communities, supporting five strategic priority areas: Housing, Early Childhood Education, Economic Equity & Investment, Workforce Development, and Sustainability.

“Equitability, accessibility and inclusivity is sewn into the very fabric of everything we do,” says MadREP President & CEO Jason M. Fields, CEcD, CFEI, CCRS. “When we prioritize equitableness and strategically create opportunities, exciting things start to happen. Lightship Foundation’s Bootcamp, powered by the American Family Institute, is the perfect opportunity to expand economic equity across our region and formally launch our Bridge Wisconsin initiative.”

“The Institute is excited to bring together mission-aligned organizations like Lightship Foundation and MadREP to provide equitable opportunity to founders within the Madison Region,” said Nyra Jordan, social impact director with the Institute. “We believe this is a place where founders of color can thrive, and we want to provide access to world class resources as early as possible.”

“Access to capital has been historically disproportionate for women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color,” says Dr. Jack Daniels, President of Madison College. “At Madison College, we pride ourselves on providing equitable and affordable access to resources, technical assistance, and education in our communities. We are excited to host the entrepreneur bootcamp at our Goodman South campus and to welcome Lightship Foundation to our Region.”