Combining industrial leadership and academic prowess, GE Healthcare and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) today announced a unique collaboration aimed at building a pipeline of Wisconsin-based medical imaging software developers and researchers to drive the next generation of health care technology globally.
University officials joined leaders from GE Healthcare at the UWM College of Engineering & Applied Science on the Kenwood campus to unveil the new collaboration, and a more than $3 million GE commitment toward the GE Healthcare Center for Advanced Computational Imaging at UWM.
The joint effort will enable UWM to develop technology-specific, advanced-level course work in specialized software development and provide seed-funding for research and collaborative projects related to image and signal processing for medical technology. The collaboration will also provide continuing education opportunities for GE Healthcare technologists.
“The future of medical imaging promises more advanced tools for clinicians and better care for patients,” said Tom Gentile, president and chief executive officer of GE Healthcare’s Healthcare Systems, based in Wisconsin. “That’s what today is about. By working alongside an academic and research leader like UWM, we’ll be at the vanguard of next generation medical imaging technology, working on things that matter and building on great local talent.”
“UWM will expand existing research and academic strengths with GE Healthcare – a world-class partner with offices that are literally right down the street from our new Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa,” said UWM Chancellor Michael Lovell. “Our students, faculty and staff will all benefit from participating in initiatives to create software that improves the quality and reduces the cost of medical imaging.”
UWM’s first academic offering will be a graduate-level certificate in the area of computational imaging that will begin in fall 2013, offered alongside professional development curricula for GE Healthcare employees, according to Ethan Munson, chair of the UWM Department of Computer Science and leader of the new Center.
Computational imaging is an emerging capability that enables image data of organs to be reconstructed via software without additional scans. Computational imaging is used in a variety of industries, but expertise in medical application remains largely based in Silicon Valley.
The GEHC-UWM partnership will help expand the talent pipeline in Wisconsin. More than 85 percent of UWM graduates have historically remained in the state following graduation. GE Healthcare’s Wisconsin employees have collectively earned more than 2,800 engineering degrees.
Funding for seed projects will be coordinated through the UWM Research Foundation. GE Healthcare has more than 6,500 employees across Wisconsin.