Free Tuesday Trends sample: Stratatech rising, Oshkosh Corp. mixed and solar power falling

Below is an excerpt from the most recent edition of WisBusiness Tuesday Trends.

The full version of this weekly look at the state of Wisconsin business is available for free to anyone who signs up for the Tuesday Trends mailing list.

The full product includes several items in each of the rising, mixed and falling categories plus a look at upcoming business events across the state.

To get the full version of Tuesday Trends in your inbox every week, sign up now for the free mailing list. (If the preceding link does not work for you, simply send an e-mail to [email protected] with “Subscribe to trends” in the subject line.)

WisBusiness also publishes a summary of state business news sent to paid subscribers every weekday.

Sign up for a free two-week trial of WisBusiness subscriber products.


Stratatech: The Madison-based regenerative medicine company announces a federal contract worth up to $47.2 million to continue development of Stratatech’s skin replacement product. The five-year contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will consist of two base years, followed by contract options for another three years. The total award will support the pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and technology development activities needed to complete the FDA approval process for StrataGraft skin tissue, which would be used to treat burn injuries. The contract will also help fund manufacturing process development and scale-up so that Stratatech will be positioned for large-scale production — in the case of either general commercial needs or a mass casualty event. Company officials say the BARDA contract — believed to be the first awarded to a Wisconsin company — recognizes the quality and potential impact of the StrataGraft product.


Oshkosh Corp.: The Fox Valley vehicle manufacturer reports a quarterly profit nearly double the same quarter in 2012. The company attributed the rise from $77.1 million net income last year to $148.4 million this time around to better-than-expected prices and sales of its construction equipment. But a potentially big job creator for Oshkosh could be in jeopardy due to ongoing fiscal cuts at the federal level. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlines a dramatic spending cut plan to address federal sequestration, and one Marine Corps official has said he has higher priorities than replacing Humvees — a potential 20-year, $30 billion contract that includes Oshkosh as one of three bidders. CEO Charles Szews, however, says he believes the Humvee replacement contract is still a high enough priority for the military that it will go forward; a spokesman adds that Oshkosh receiving the contract “would forever change the company.”


Solar power: A pair of issues before the state Public Service Commission has drawn the ire of renewable energy advocates. First, the utility regulatory agency votes to suspend incentives for homeowners that install solar systems from the middle of this month through the rest of the year. It’s the second time in three years that the state’s Focus on Energy program has seen the solar incentives suspended; officials said projections showed spending on solar and wind projects would exceed Focus on Energy standards for this year and that they expect the incentives to return in 2014. Critics say the stoppage will once again hurt more than 300 small businesses working in renewable energy. Meanwhile, Green Bay-based Wisconsin Public Service Corp. is arguing in a rate case before the PSC for more restrictive solar policies. The PSC says it wants to ensure its customers aren’t unfairly subsidizing others with solar installations; opponents say the utility is essentially discouraging solar energy.