About $1.7 billion is spent on academic research every year in Wisconsin, with the funding coming from a mix of government agencies and private investors. Some people who follow the money say more could be done with it.

UW-Madison gets about $1.1 billion. The Medical College of Wisconsin receives about $300 million. Most of the rest goes to UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University.

State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) is co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. Darling says a lot of the research turns into patents, but not enough goes on to the commercial marketplace.

“We have to make better connections. We have to have better help for the start-ups, better coordination between the public sector and the private sector, and the entrepreneurial sector — and we have to measure it,” she said. Read the full story here.