16 May Two Wisconsin groups win NSF grants to plot innovation hubs that could land $160 million
Similar to the way in which Silicon Valley is synonymous with information technology, Wisconsin could eventually be known for water innovation or sustainable agriculture.
At least, that’s what two new Wisconsin groups are working toward.
The two separate teams led by The Water Council and WiSys each recently received a $1 million federal grant to plan innovation hubs around water and sustainable agriculture. Each group has two years to assemble a proposal for how they would use $160 million to make those hubs a reality.
The money comes from the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Regional Innovation Engines program. The two Wisconsin teams are among 44 U.S. teams to land a $1 million, two-year development grant. Five of those teams will each win a 10-year, up to $160 million grant to establish their regional innovation hub.
“Through these planning awards, NSF is seeding the future for in-place innovation,” NSF director Sethuraman Panchanathan said in a statement earlier this month. “This will unleash ideas, talent, pathways and resources to create vibrant innovation ecosystems all across our nation.”
One of Wisconsin’s regional innovation teams is focused on water and energy resilience for manufacturers and utilities. It’s led by The Water Council, which has its headquarters in Milwaukee.
Other partners include the MKE Tech Hub Coalition, the Wisconsin Technology Council, Marquette University, the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity and the Madison Region Economic Partnership.