A recent Public Policy Forum report looked
at the impacts university research can have on local economic development and
presented several models that could help to expand technology transfer in southeast
Wisconsin. We found that while coordinated infrastructure is needed to convert
research into new businesses and jobs in the local economy, the impact on local
economic development is also related to the level of investment in research.
New data from the National Science Foundation on total university research and development spending reveals positive trends for Milwaukee. Four Milwaukee-area universities combined to invest $281 million in research and development in 2010, up from just over $100 million in 2000. In addition, while the collective research investments at Milwaukee institutions are still far lower than the over $1 billion spent by UW-Madison, which ranks third in the nation in research spending, Milwaukee-area universities collectively increased research spending at a significantly faster rate than UW-Madison over that time period.
The table below shows the growth in R&D expenditures at Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago universities over the past 20 years, as well as the national rank for each institution on that measure in both 2000 and 2010. The Medical College of Wisconsin has more than doubled its R&D expenditures since 2000 and now is poised to become one of the top 100 research institutions in the U.S. UWM has made large gains as well, more than tripling its R&D expenditures since 2000.
|Source: National Science Foundation – National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics|