The University of Wisconsin-Stevens
Point will receive more than one-fifth of the economic development grant money
available in a new University of Wisconsin Incentive Grant program.
UW System will award a total $22.5 million over the next two years to support
increased economic growth and a stronger Wisconsin workforce. Twelve projects
were chosen among the 56 proposals submitted across the state.
UW-Stevens Point, nearly $5 million will go toward three of the 12 projects:
Collaborative Research Facility for Development and Commercialization of
Biorefinery Technologies: Cellulose Pilot & Processing Lab ($2,837,596):
Cellulose is one component of biomass, such as wood. Innovative companies are
looking into new sources of cellulose and new ways to process cellulose into
chemicals, textiles, packaging, fuels and materials. This will result in the
development of new industries developing for a more sustainable economy. A
pilot-scale facility and a research center will be built for businesses to test
processes in collaboration with UW-Stevens Point researchers. The facility will
help accelerate the growth of these companies.
Economic Development through Innovation in Specialty Papers, Packaging and
Converting ($1,445,336): Specialty paper, such as coated and laminated paper
for packaging, is an area with strong growth potential and an important
Wisconsin industry. This project will fund upgrades to the UW-Stevens Point
pilot paper machine, allowing for trial runs to help companies in research and
development. It will help manufacturers add new revenue streams and train
current and future skilled workers. A compostability testing service recently
developed at UW-Stevens Point will be improved with automation to better serve
industries developing sustainable packaging materials.
• Aquaculture and Aquaponic Economic Development and
In partnership with UW-Extension, a new business incubator will be created to
increase workforce education and training opportunities in sustainable food
month, the UW Board of Regents approved reallocating existing university funds
for the Incentive Grant program. These funds will be used in fiscal years 2014
and 2015 for innovative and sustainable economic development projects. They are
intended for one-time or start-up costs that develop or enhance economic
development, or workforce development, or improve the affordability of
Point Chancellor Bernie Patterson said he is excited about the opportunities
these grants bring to the university and to central and northern
Wisconsin. “A major initiative within our ‘Partnership for Thriving
Communities’ strategic plan is economic development. Our vision for the
university is to be more sensitive to community issues and more responsive to
community problems so we all prosper.
are grateful to the UW System for providing the funding and to the state
Legislature for supporting these critically important initiatives,” Patterson