WisBusiness: Milwaukee to get biomedical tech center

By Brian E. Clark

No one is saying where in greater Milwaukee it will be located or
what the budget will be, but Gov. Jim Doyle is slated to unveil the new
Wisconsin Institute for Biomedical and Health Technologies on Monday.

Doyle is scheduled to speak at 10:30 a.m. at the University of Wisconsin-
Milwaukee School of Continuing Education with business and research

According to Doyle’s office, the new facility will be supported
by both private and public dollars. A spokesman for his office said he
would announce at least $1 million in initial funding.

The project will support interdisciplinary research in biomedical
engineering, health care informatics and clinical research on patient
outcomes and treatment efficacy.

In addition to Doyle, UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Carlos Santiago, Medical
College of Wisconsin President Michael Bolger, Sen. Ted Kanavas, R-
Brookfield and executives from GE Healthcare Technologies and Center
Corp. will attend the meeting. Word of the announcement leaked earlier
this week.

The Milwaukee facility could complement the $375 million Wisconsin
Institute for Discovery that Doyle and UW-Madison officials hope to
build on the Madison campus.

Doyle announced plans for the Discovery Institute in November, shortly
after California passed Prop. 71 to pump $3 billion into stem
cell research over the next decade.

Tom Hefty, co-chairman of the governor’s Economic Growth Council, said he
is enthusiastic about the Milwaukee institute.

“It will be an engine of economic growth,” said Hefty, a former president
of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wisconsin. He is now president of the
Waukesha Economic Development Corporation.

Kanavas, a software company executive, said earlier this week at a
WisBusiness.com-WIN luncheon that he expects the southeast
Wisconsin economy to grow because of research breakthroughs coming from
UW-Milwaukee, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University GE
and other institutions.

“The destiny of southeast Wisconsin was not written 50 years ago,” said
Kanavas. He is a backer of the Biomedical Technology Alliance, an
initiative that is aimed at bringing together researchers from the
Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette, the Milwaukee School of
Engineering and the Milwaukee and Parkside UW campuses.