Lake Effect

Peter Kim / Fotolia

In our Project Milwaukee: Innovation: How Do We Compete? series, we’ve been exploring the challenges that innovation faces in Wisconsin. 

In 2007, film industry supporters and filmmakers were able to take advantage of a tax credit program designed to lure filmmakers to the state of Wisconsin. The program offered tax credits of 25 percent for production spending and 15 percent for infrastructure.

scaleupmilwaukee.org

One deterrent to would-be new businesses is the fear of not being prepared in the beginning stages before the company has even made a name for itself.  Scale Up Milwaukee is one local organization working to aid entrepreneurs and innovators at the early stages of their business plan. Its "Scalerator" program is a six-month, seven-session training program that aims to teach business owners how to inject growth into their ventures.

PDS

Local colleges and universities are key players in developing the talent start-up and existing businesses are looking for. Still, the region has some way to go before all of the top talent is homegrown.

Michelle Maternowski

Cultivating talent and collaboration quickly surfaced as central themes of WUWM's Project Milwaukee panel discussion on innovation and the economy. Insiders shared ideas for how Milwaukee can become and remain competitive in innovative fields.

Researchers at companies and universities may be tempted to hold their cards close to the vest. But Brian Thompson says in Milwaukee that "silo thinking" will get you nowhere. Thompson heads UW-Milwaukee's Research Foundation.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

It’s been a violent week in several parts of the world. Even amid signs of a de-escalation in Syria, a terrorist incident rocked the African nation of Ivory Coast. Another terror bombing in Turkey raised fears about instability in that vital western ally.

S Bence

The Mid-West Energy Research Consortium, or M-WERC, is working to add Milwaukee to the energy tech landscape.

The group sprouted out of the interest of three universities and four industrial companies in 2009.

Marquette University

Innovation can be a nebulous topic. People have their own definition of what innovation entails, and it sets each on their own path to fostering creativity.

The same holds true for local colleges and universities. In examining their own role in fostering innovation across the city, each school has its own mission.

Even so, if you talk to higher education leaders in Milwaukee, the word “innovation” almost always comes attached to another word: "collaboration."

Cooperation and partnership drive many of the initiatives on the city’s biggest campuses.

Photo by Bonnie North

Singer Jeannine Rivers has been serenading the Milwaukee area for years. Whether she’s at Caroline’s, the Pfister’s BLU Bar and Lounge or West Bend’s Café Soeurette, her powerful and expressive vocals, along with a mix of jazz standards and original compositions, make her an audience favorite.

Chris Boswell / Fotolia

Despite is relatively small size, downtown Milwaukee can sometimes have large city-style issues with on-street parking.  At the same time, there have been some parking innovations worth mentioning.

Resident Lake Effect curmudgeon Jonathan West has some thoughts about one of them:

Since you never asked…

bonoboconservation.com

For our Project Milwaukee: Innovation - How Do We Compete? series, the scientific community has been highlighted for its work in both research and practice.

Surgeon James Sanger is particularly noteworthy for his work as a plastic surgeon and a hand surgeon. But his patients are noteworthy, too.

saintseminole, flickr

Once upon a time, one of the key leaders in innovation in the Milwaukee area was Briggs & Stratton. The Wauwatosa-based manufacturer has been a national leader in building things with small engines, like lawn mowers. But the company ran into problems that many have faced over the last decade.

Michelle Maternowski

Greg Meier's broad experience includes co-founding Global Entrepreneurship Collective as well as Wisconsin's first mentor-driven seed accelerator, 94 Labs. Today, Meier is the Director of the Milwaukee Institute’s Center for Software Engineering. He is also an adjunct faculty member at UW-Milwaukee and Cardinal Stritch University.

Meier has a lot to say about Milwaukee's innovation scene, starting with its history steeped in the economies of scale model.

Lindsay Eyink / Flickr

Recently, the Urban Ecology Center held its annual meet your farmer event here in Milwaukee. It featured different Community Supported Agriculture programs. CSAs allow growers to directly reach their consumers. 

CSA programs have been growing in popularity since the 1980's, and now more than 1,700 farms are involved with them. But despite their popularity, the concept of a CSA program can be a bit confusing for some consumers. 

Jelly Dude / Flickr

John Koethe has had many intellectual interests in his years and many have found their way into his poetry.

Koethe is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at UW-Milwaukee, and his interest in philosophy shines through in his latest collection of poetry, The Swimmer. Physics, advanced math and literature also make appearances his poems.

Koethe notes that many of his poems reflect a look back at how things have changed during his lifetime, and not always for the better.

Day Donaldson / Flickr

News of the so-called "super lice" invasion has sent many parents into panic mode. It seems like schools around Wisconsin are “lousy” with the little guys, and are seemingly immune to traditional forms of lice removal.

But local pediatrician Dr. Michael O’Reilly believes the term super lice is a bit hyperbolic.

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