Milwaukee was recently featured in an article in the March 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review. The article titled Enriching the Ecosystem highlighted Milwaukee’s urban aquaponics efforts and UW-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences.
Small adjustments to local zoning laws, which often prevent mixed-use residential/work spaces (the equivalent of college dorms for graduates), could have dramatic effects on new-business formation. The emerging urban aquaponics effort in Milwaukee goes several steps further in creating an innovation zone linking science, start-ups, and the community. It connects water researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences (the nation’s first) with entrepreneurial urban farms occupying abandoned factories.
The article, written by tenured Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, goes on to talk about how schools partnering with aquaponics groups in the Milwaukee area promotes skills development and market growth. By brining education and water-related business together, Milwaukee simultaneously develops more efficient water systems, creates jobs for urban residents, and catalyzes business.
That’s why education has always been one of our primary goals at The Water Council. By educating students on the importance of water, we are training the next generation of stewards to pick up where we leave off. In addition, we are showing students that they are every bit as able to influence the future of water.
Knowledge centers, centers of excellence, incubators, test sites, and innovation zones together can enhance competitiveness by creating seamless platforms connecting innovation and entrepreneurship. Linkages can also be reinforced by larger tax credits for corporate [research and development] that’s conducted at universities and by reorienting universities to promote entrepreneurship, especially in emerging industries.
That very idea was behind the founding of The Water Council. We wanted to create an avenue for water-related businesses, researchers and students to pool their resources together in an effort to promote Milwaukee as a World Water Hub. That is still foremost objective. It is our mission statement. Getting mentioned nationally in publications like the Harvard Business Review is evidence that we are accomplishing our goals.
Click here to read the rest of the article and see what Rosabeth Moss Kanter had to say about the future of America and the importance of a holistic approach to development.