Wisconsin landed Foxconn’s plant. Now UW-Madison looks to do the same with research

By Nico Savidge, Wisconsin State Journal

RebeccaBlank_wsjUW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank had a two-part pitch for Foxconn executives when she chatted with them during a dinner at the governor’s mansion earlier this month.

First: Her university can play an important role in training the workers who will fill Foxconn’s facility, Blank told them. And second: Its status as a research powerhouse — particularly in the fields of medicine and engineering — could provide a boost to the company’s ambitions in the field of medical imaging.

Now that Wisconsin has succeeded in wooing Foxconn, Blank and others are working to do something similar by developing research partnerships with the Taiwanese electronics giant that could pour new funding into UW-Madison.

“My main message was: There is a world-class university in Madison, Wisconsin,” Blank told the Wisconsin State Journal, recounting her informal talks with Foxconn officials. “If you came to this state, there are many ways in which we can help you do your work even better.”

There is much UW-Madison does not yet know about what Foxconn’s plans, which call for a $10 billion investment and a massive plant somewhere in southeastern Wisconsin where between 3,000 and 13,000 workers will assemble liquid-crystal display panels, will mean for the university. Read more …