Tom Still: Wisconsin’s R&D Academic Footprint Includes Energy and Sustainability | Economic news

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The challenge for academic research centers in Wisconsin and elsewhere is to stand out once Congress passes the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act or a related version. Assuming the NSF is the primary reviewer of technology hub proposals, it could likely pay more attention to ideas involving collaborations with multiple partners than to a multitude of stand-alone proposals.

This appears to be the approach taken in Illinois, where the University of Illinois College of Engineering, IBM, and the state government have unveiled plans for a Discovery Accelerator Institute on the Champaign campus. Urbana. Other campuses will likely be involved over time. Illinois’ long-term goal is to spur advancements in areas such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, accelerated material discovery, and sustainability.

Wisconsin has the research strengths to compete, whether it’s sustainability, genomics, quantum computing, or other NSF hub topics. Wisconsin’s university R&D centers raised and spent $ 1.66 billion from all sources, public and private, in a recent year compiled by the NSF. This ranked Wisconsin 16th among all states, exceeding its 20th weight in terms of population.

The bulk of those dollars were raised and spent by UW-Madison, which is eighth among all public and private universities nationwide ($ 1.3 billion), but the Medical College of Wisconsin attracted $ 245 million. $ 54 million, UW-Milwaukee $ 54 million, and Marquette University $ 38 million. Other four-year public and private colleges accounted for an additional $ 23 million.

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