Knowledge Powers Wisconsin business

Educating people for career success is a vital part of UW System’s mission. Our colleges, universities, and extension networks are also working to create stronger businesses – and new jobs – to employ those UW graduates.

Initiatives to bolster regional economies are under way at all UW institutions.  A growing partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will help coordinate these statewide activities and leverage the UW System’s education and research assets.

Manufacturing remains a cornerstone of Wisconsin’s economy, and the UW is a strong partner. From supply chain management and e-business to transportation logistics and paper science, our public universities devote more than $50 million to manufacturing research, education, and outreach every year. Another staple industry – agriculture – remains a top UW priority, as evidenced by world-class research and specialized degrees in agricultural business, animal science, biochemistry, genetics, and food science.

Looking toward the future, most new jobs will come from small businesses. To support that growth, UW-Extension’s Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN) works alongside campus-based Small Business Development Centers to help new and established businesses find the expertise they need.

Scientific research at UW campuses is itself a key ingredient to job growth.  Academic research and development now represents a $1.1-billion industry in Wisconsin – one that has created over 38,000 jobs all across the state, according to the Wisconsin Technology Council.  One tangible example of this success is found at the University Research Park in Madison, where more than 126 companies employ over 3,500 people at an average annual salary of $63,000. Many of those businesses grew out of UW-Madison research, while others were attracted by the climate of uncommon innovation. This model is being replicated at other campuses, including the Whitewater University Technology Park, which leverages UW-Whitewater’s strengths in information technology and entrepreneurship.

Likewise, businesses at the Stout Technology and Business Park in Menomonie capitalize on UW-Stout’s expertise in packaging, plastics, and industrial technology.

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