M-WERC to increase expenses 77% for 2018

Organization adds sponsored research programs

The new advanced prototyping lab at the Energy Innovation Center.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:05 pm

The Mid-West Energy Research Consortium plans to add almost $1 million to its budget and increase spending 77 percent in 2018, the nonprofit announced at its annual meeting this morning.

Revenue was $1.4 million in its 2017 fiscal year, and expenses were $1.3 million. For 2018, the organization plans to bring in $2.3 million in revenue and incur the same in expenses.

The additional funds will mainly be allocated toward sponsored research programs, which will get $471,000, roadmaps and working groups, which will receive $237,000 and the organization’s WERCBench Labs accelerator, which will receive $127,000. Some funds will also be used for operating capital, said Alan Perlstein, executive director of M-WERC.

In 2017, M-WERC did not spend any funds on sponsored research, Perlstein said. He is currently fundraising and plans to have the research funding in place for the projects by November. M-WERC plans to kick off the lead project in January 2018.

“Our members wanted to have sponsored research,” he said.

M-WERC has so far brought in another $250,000 in foundation support for 2018, and is expecting to receive an undisclosed grant from the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

“We’re really pushing to have a more diverse base of support so it’s sustainable support,” Perlstein said.

The foundation support will go to research activities, working group support and the new advanced prototyping center M-WERC recently completed in its Energy Innovation Center. M-WERC invested about $150,000 and the owner of the EIC building invested about $150,000 in the prototyping lab. Once Milwaukee Area Technical College finalizes the safety and protocol system for the space, M-WERC plans to bring in users.

“We wanted to have an advanced prototyping space that was an important toolset to continue to seed the entrepreneur space in Wisconsin,” Perlstein said.

M-WERC’s members are from both industry and academia. The nonprofit focuses on the growth and economic competitiveness of the region’s energy, power and controls sectors. Corporate members include A.O. Smith Corp., Briggs & Stratton Corp., Rockwell Automation Inc. and Johnson Controls International plc.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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