(Madison) - A bill that encourages businesses to work together to increase productivity and innovation is getting the approval of a state committee. On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government approved a bill authored by State Senator Alberta Darling to encourage and expand business clusters in Wisconsin.
"Wisconsin already has successful business clusters, so we know they work," Darling said, "By encouraging more clusters in more areas, we are also encouraging collaboration, new ideas, new technologies, and new jobs."
The Wisconsin Workforce and Innovation Network for Success (WINS) Act creates the Innovation Fund and Council to advise the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation on how to promote and expand the great work that is already taking place with clusters in our state. The fund is designed to promote innovation through competition, new product research and development, capacity building through industry cluster partnerships, and accelerate small businesses.
An industry or business cluster is a geographic concentration of interconnected businesses, suppliers, and associated institutions in a particular field. The concentration of related businesses and academia increases productivity, access to information and skilled labor, cooperative research, and innovation through competition.
In Wisconsin, many successful industries work together in clusters. Companies in agriculture, biotechnology, energy, dairy, bio health, water technology, and plastics use this arrangement to lower costs and increase productivity and innovation.
"With many new companies choosing Wisconsin because of our business environment, clusters can help ease their transition," Darling said, "This bill will help build on the many successes stories in Wisconsin and take our business climate to the next level."
Senate Bill 525, the WINS Act was approved by a vote of 5-1. It is now available for a vote of the full State Senate.
Senator Darling represents portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties.