The Brookings Institution is highlighting Madison and Milwaukee as potential hotspots for tech innovation and economic growth.
The new report details a proposal calling for $10 billion in annual federal funding over the next 10 years for “regional growth centers” in the country’s heartland. The plan aims to address the growing economic disparity between high-growth metropolitan areas and the rest of the country.
Wisconsin’s two largest cities are included among the top communities in the nation for innovation potential based on factors such as the number of patents held, the share of STEM degrees, university R&D spending and others. Madison made the top spot on the list of 35 metros across the country, while Milwaukee came in at number 17.
Madison has around 71 patents per 100,000 population, while Milwaukee has around 44. Though Madison has a much smaller population, the city has more than 10 times as many STEM doctoral degrees.
The Case for Growth Centers report was released by the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. It shows the country’s top five metro areas for innovation — Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and San Diego — accounted for more than 90 percent of U.S. innovation sector growth between 2005 and 2017.
Gov. Tony Evers is urging the state’s congressional delegation to carefully consider the proposal and what it could do for Wisconsin. He says the state is “uniquely poised” to lead the nation in the entrepreneurship and innovation space, given its top-rated research universities, growing venture capital activity, coordinated economic development efforts and other factors. Read the full story here.