A Vision for Wisconsin’s Next Century

The Bicentennial Innovation Challenges (BIC) project originated in 2019 as a collaboration between the WiSys Technology Foundation (WiSys), Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), and UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation (UWMRF). The project began with one overarching question:

How can WiSys, WARF, and UWMRF best respond to the most significant challenges facing Wisconsin and its citizens between now and the 200th anniversary of the State's founding in 1848?

Four Thematic Areas

After posing that question to a wide range of thought leaders and stakeholders across industry, academia, nonprofits, and public sector leaders, the BIC core team narrowed our focus to four thematic areas:

  • Sustainability and Natural Resources 
  • Demographic Shifts and Inequality 
  • Industrial Transformation and Economic Development
  • Education and Workforce Development

Sustainable Agriculture

In 2021, the BIC team conducted a series of focus groups specific to the first thematic area, Sustainability and Natural Resources, beginning with the more specific subtopic of sustainable agriculture.

In 2023, the data collected by these initial focus groups informed a proposal for an NSF Engines Development Award for Advancing Sustainable Agriculture in Wisconsin. A WiSys led partnership won $1 million from NSF to implement the proposal with the ongoing support of the BIC core team.

We encourage anyone interested in learning more to visit:

NSF Engines Development Award: Advancing Sustainable Agriculture in Wisconsin

Or Contact the Team

Future Stages

The BIC core team continues to explore projects related to the remaining three thematic areas and beyond. Any questions, feedback, or project ideas related to innovation challenges in Wisconsin can be sent via email to [email protected].