A new statewide freshwater initiative led by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was recently awarded a $670,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
The WEDC grant was matched by $1.4 million in UW System funding. Together the funding will provide seed money to launch the effort, which is aimed at filling the demand for a water workforce in Wisconsin.
The collaborative will be implemented across all 13 UW System campuses and is designed to address 10 major water challenges in Wisconsin and the world, including agricultural water management, industrial water engineering and technology, Great Lakes management and restoration, water business and finance and aquaculture, among others. It’s expected to cost $27.6 million in state support when fully implemented.
WEDC also recently provided $250,000 for UWM’s Connected Systems Institute to help small-and mid-sized manufacturers increase their capacity for the internet of things (IoT). WEDC supported the launch of the Connected Systems Institute in 2017 with an initial grant of $900,000.
“We are excited to propel these groundbreaking efforts at UWM,” said Mark Hogan, secretary and chief executive director of WEDC. “UWM’s leadership role in aiding advanced manufacturing through IoT technology is making our industries stronger, and by spearheading the Freshwater Collaborative, UWM is safeguarding businesses, the environment and individuals, which all rely heavily on clean, fresh water.”
WEDC’s grants support UWM’s “Made in Milwaukee, Shaping the World: The Campaign for UWM,” the largest fundraising effort in the school’s history.
“WEDC’s support of our Connected Systems Institute and the Freshwater Collaborative underscores the importance of innovation to our university and to our state,” said Mark Mone, chancellor of UWM. “These two initiatives are like no others. They represent a truly creative approach to making Wisconsin’s manufacturers more competitive, and protecting our fresh water and all the industries that are affected by this irreplaceable natural resource. I am deeply grateful for the WEDC’s support to create innovative solutions to societal problems.”