What is the “special sauce” that is attracting major tech projects, investment and talent to southeast Wisconsin? In a word: Infrastructure. It’s increasingly available in many forms, from ample physical resources to intellectual power to a will to improve lives through technology.

A prime example is the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute, which is a partnership launched in 2018 by Northwestern Mutual, Marquette University and the UW-Milwaukee. It will be the subject of a Thursday, July 11 Tech Council Innovation Network luncheon at the UW-Milwaukee Innovation Accelerator, 1225 Discovery Parkway, Wauwatosa.

Panelists from the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute are Scott Rex, co-director and Bill Marcou, project manager. It supports an endowed professorship at each university, research projects and grants, student scholarships, expertise in artificial intelligence, data science facilities and more to foster community growth.

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Registration, networking and hors d’oeuvres start at 11:30 a.m. and the presentation at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for students and returning veterans, $25 for individual members, $35 for non-members and included for Tech Council corporate members.

“The Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute is contributing directly to the growth of the Milwaukee region as a tech destination, but also as a hub for research, business and talent development … as well as old-fashioned problem-solving,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

The Wisconsin Technology Council is the independent, non-profit science and technology adviser to the governor and Legislature, with events, publications and outreach that contribute to Wisconsin’s tech-based economy. To join, go to www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com or call 608-442-7557.