Biotechnology and Medical Technology

Among larger metro areas, the Milwaukee area ranks as having among the highest employment specializations in two of four bioscience categories: medical devices & equipment, and chemicals & agricultural feedstock.

The Milwaukee Region is home to several internationally recognized medical technology and biotech firms. GE Healthcare Technologies, a global leader in medical imaging and information technologies, patient monitoring systems and healthcare services, is based in Waukesha and employs 6,400 people at multiple facilities in the region.

The worldwide headquarters of Abbott Laboratories is located just south of the region in northern Illinois. Already the largest employer of Kenosha County, WI residents, Abbott plans to build a 120-acre campus in the county.

Hospira, a subsidiary of Abbott that was spun off as an independent company, is a leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of medication delivery systems, specialty injectable pharmaceuticals and critical care devices. Headquartered in northern Illinois, Hospira employs 14,000 people worldwide, including 500 at an office and warehouse facility in Kenosha County.

The Milwaukee Region also is home to the U.S. headquarters of Schwarz Pharma Inc., a global pharmaceutical firm that specializes in therapies for the central nervous system, as well as gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases.

The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee ranks as one of the top 100 academic research institutions in the United States with more than $166 million in research and development expenditures for FY 2011-12.

Technology Initiatives

The Milwaukee Region has developed an extensive support network to facilitate the growth of biotech firms. The Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation (CATI) and other community initiatives bring together educators, scientists and the business community to transform research discoveries into marketable products. Several colleges have also adopted their own technology transfer programs, including the Medical College of Wisconsin Office of Research. The Technology Innovation Center, one of the largest high-tech incubators in the country, is specifically designed to provide laboratory and office space, networking opportunities and other critical services for biotech and information technology start-ups. It currently serves more than 40 tenant companies with 320 employees.

Abbott Laboratories
Human and veterinary pharmaceutical products, diagnostic assays and nutritional products 72,000
Cambridge Major Laboratories  Custom synthesis of API, specialty reagents and fine chemicals  160  140 
Criticare Systems Anesthesia monitors, vital sign monitors and pulse oximeters 90 90
GE Healthcare Technologies  Medical imaging, information and diagnostic technologies 46,000 6,400
Medication delivery systems, specialty injectable pharmaceuticals and critical care devices 14,000
Life science technologies for disease research, drug discovery and commercial bio-production 9,500
Mortara Instrument  ECG signal processing hardware/software 180  130 
MRPC  Medical device raw material and product development 130  130 
RF Technologies  Radio frequency identification for health care  100  100 
Schwarz Pharma
Pharmaceutical therapies for the central nervous system, as well as gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases 10,000 160
Thermo Fisher Scientific Milwaukee  Synthesis, modification, labeling and detection of nucleic acids  30,000  42
Vesta Medical, aerospace and food components and devices 300 300

Innovation Center

The Technology Innovation Center at the Milwaukee County Research Park has


square feet of space, making it one of the largest incubators in the country.