As construction kicks off on the first building at Innovation Campus on Wednesday, June 5, Michael R. Lovell, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), is also announcing five generous gifts that will help grow the university’s novel research park, a place where business and industry meet academic research to launch intellectual property for the new century.
The gifts are from the Wisconsin Energy Foundation, $2 million; Michael J. Cudahy, $2 million; the Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation, $1 million; Dennis Klein and KBS Construction, $250,000; and an anonymous donor, $300,000.
Innovation Campus is adjacent to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center to allow collaboration among industry, research and medicine. Construction is now under way on the UWM Innovation Accelerator building, funded in part with a $5.4 million federal grant.
“Through their support, these individuals and organizations demonstrate that they share our belief that Innovation Campus will make the maximum impact on this region,” said Lovell. “On behalf of our university, I offer my deep thanks for their contributions.”
Innovation Campus not only offers technology transfer and business incubation services, but incorporates the research enterprise of the university directly into the development of a private-sector park. This powerful combination of industry, academic and nonprofit organizations working in true partnership at the same location will attract industry to the region and stimulate new “spinout” companies.
The donors explained their motivation to champion this third-generation research park:
- “After years of thoughtful planning, it’s exciting to see Innovation Park begin to take shape,” said Gale E. Klappa, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin Energy Corporation and co-chair of the Milwaukee 7 regional economic development initiative. “As the Accelerator building’s name suggests, this initiative will speed the pace of growth in the area, and I’m confident this will be the first of many positive developments at Innovation Campus.”
- “I was there when Fred Terman, Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett started the Palo Alto industrial innovation park in California,” said Michael J. Cudahy. “Our Innovation Campus has all the elements to have history repeat itself here.”
- “Innovation Campus brings together a stellar team of scientists, engineers, administrators, faculty and students from UWM, the Medical College, and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center to interact with each other and industry to solve problems and create new technologies,” said F. William Haberman, president of the Herzfeld Foundation Board of Directors. “We are convinced the campus will improve the health and quality of life of our citizens, add to our knowledge, attract and retain creative talent, and spark economic development in our region and elsewhere.”
- “I think Innovation Campus is one of the most exciting things to happen in the Milwaukee market in years,” says Dennis Klein, chairman of KBS Construction. “I do not know if we can ever rival UW-Madison’s Research Park, but this is a huge step in the right direction and KBS is proud to be a part of it.”
The first private development at Innovation Campus also is under way. ABB Inc. and developer Zilber Property Group announced in January plans to develop a 95,000-square-foot building to house the company’s regional headquarters on the site. Slated to be completed sometime next year, the building will house 350 employees, including 100 engineers and scientists.