Economic Impact

University Research Park contributes more than $825 million to Wisconsin’s economy each year

University Research Park contributes more than $825 million to Wisconsin’s economy each year, according to a study conducted by NorthStar Economics Inc., of Madison. The study also found that the park supports nearly 9,300 jobs statewide, and generates $43 million in state and local tax revenue each year.


“This new study demonstrates the return that’s being paid on the creation of University Research Park as part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s efforts to transfer university-discovered technology to the private sector, where it can be refined and commercialized,” said Mark D. Bugher, director of University Research Park. “The park companies that are doing this hard work generate almost a billion dollars in economic impact each year, support more than 9,000 jobs across Wisconsin and make significant state and local tax contributions. The results of the URP economic impact study reinforces the priority we’ve put on technology transfer and fostering the growth of companies born on this campus as a result.”

The research and technology park, which stretches across 255 acres on Madison’s west side, is home to 126 companies, most of which were founded on discoveries made at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The study found that the total annual payroll of park companies is $220 million. The average salary of the 3,419 employees in the park is $64,310, significantly higher than the state and county average annual wages of $39,000 and $44,000, respectively. More than $132 million of the payroll spending in the park stays in Dane County, after federal tax deductions and other non-local spending is taken into account.

URP companies spend more than $200 million each year on Wisconsin goods and services, the study said. This spending has directly supported the creation of more than 2,500 jobs at Wisconsin firms that supply those goods and services. Spending by park employees also has a significant impact on the state’s economy, supporting the creation of another 1,200 jobs. For every job created by a URP company, another job is created elsewhere as a result, the study found.

The tax revenue generated by URP companies and their employees is also significant, the study said. Employees of park companies pay more than $7 million in state income tax, $4.5 million in sales tax and almost $9 million in local property taxes. URP itself pays more than $3.6 million a year in local property taxes. The jobs created by URP-related spending generate an additional $10 million in state and local tax revenue.