WUWM: Innovation Reporting

It seems like every day there are breakthroughs in science, medicine and technology. But what do those advancements mean for you? WUWM’s Innovation Reporter Chuck Quirmbach will answer your questions, and make the difficult easier to grasp.

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Chuck Quirmbach

Less intrusive monitoring of seniors may be coming to more nursing homes. That's one of the technologies being refined at a newly remodeled building at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers paid a visit Tuesday, and says he expects more breakthroughs.

The Milwaukee company Direct Supply is a huge supplier of equipment and services to the senior living industry. The company has just updated its Innovation and Technology Center on the MSOE campus.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated at 2:23 p.m. CT

The Big Boy All-Weather Rifle, made by Henry Repeating Arms in Rice Lake, has been voted winner of this year’s Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest. It's the fourth year for the competition, which is run by Johnson Financial Group and the state's largest business organization, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Chuck Quirmbach

Foxconn appears to be trying to add more workers in Wisconsin. The controversial tech firm that's building a factory in Racine County has kicked off a series of hiring events, including Thursday at its headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

Chuck Quirmbach

Many of Wisconsin's 23,000 prison inmates will eventually be released. A new program tries to get more ready for the world of work, including training some women at Taycheedah Correctional Institution to be welders.

The women's prison near Fond du Lac also has a new state-staffed job center, which helps inmates search for work. The Evers administration says similar job centers are coming to two Milwaukee-area correctional facilities by the end of 2019.

Chuck Quirmbach

A UW-Milwaukee center that works on disability issues is developing an online way to inform people about access to public buildings like restaurants. It's hoped the computer system will be ready by the time the Democratic National Convention comes to town next summer. But once finished, the access ratings could be used by anyone.

Chuck Quirmbach

Two of the roughly two dozen U.S. nuclear power plants that have shut down in recent years, or are planning to close, are on the west shore of Lake Michigan.

The former plants are not all that far from Milwaukee — near Kewaunee, Wis., and Zion, Ill. This week, a federal agency is holding meetings in those communities to discuss where the plants are in the shutdown, or decommissioning process, as well as a possible increased role for the public.

Chuck Quirmbach

Clean air groups and others continue to promote the all-electric cars as alternatives to ones that run strictly on gasoline, or even to gas-electric hybrids. One hurdle to having more electric vehicles on the road remains — getting more charging stations where drivers away from home can get a "fill-up" of electricity. 

Industry figures show electric vehicle, or EV, sales went up in almost every state last year. Wisconsin sales of EV increased 24%. But here in the Badger State, the market share for EV remains relatively tiny — less than 1%. 

Photo by Marc Hauser. Supplied by Farm Aid.

The annual Farm Aid concert is Saturday at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre near East Troy, Wis. Performers include Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, and many other musicians.

Chuck Quirmbach

Computer power and artificial intelligence technology are officially ramping up in Milwaukee — that's with Friday’s opening of the Dwight and Dian Diercks Computational Science Hall at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. A specially-designed supercomputer in the building will be able to help local businesses and community groups with data projects.

Chuck Quirmbach

Racine is moving ahead with trying to live up to the Smart City designation it was awarded earlier this year. A conference this week is showing that several changes in education, transportation and technology may be in store for what used to just be called "the Belle City of the Great Lakes." 

Chuck Quirmbach

More Milwaukee-area business leaders are being urged to help employees who experienced trauma earlier in their lives. Advocates for what's called "trauma-informed care" say it will help the bottom line. 

More research is showing that people who experience psychological trauma can carry negative effects with them for a long time. All the way to when they're working as adults. 

Courtesy of Jack Uldrich

A futurist who spoke in Milwaukee this week says education, the business world, health care — the list goes on — are going through rapid changes.  And get ready for more change, he says. 

Minnesota-based writer, lecturer and consultant Jack Uldrich took part in a workplace and innovation networking event at Marquette University. While there, Uldrich told WUWM Innovation Reporter Chuck Quirmbach about the trends that the futurist believes are transforming tomorrow:

  

Chuck Quirmbach

Doctors at Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin are reporting a treatment breakthrough in a lung cancer case. Physicians say they've been better able to keep a radiation beam targeted on a moving tumor.

Many cancer tumors don't stay still. They move a bit, as a patient wiggles or performs bodily functions. Christopher Schultz chairs the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Froedtert and Medical College Cancer Network. Dr. Schultz says a challenge for using radiation on lung cancer is that people have to breathe.

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin says she'll try to provide additional help in Congress for water technology firms.

Language sponsored by Baldwin that provides incentives for innovative drinking water technology was included in a federal water resources bill Congress passed last year. Baldwin says the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan may have helped.

Chuck Quirmbach

A "tech bash" aimed at growing Milwaukee's technology culture in a party setting will be held Tuesday night on the city's near south side. 

Milwaukee is no Silicon Valley, of course. But the region is having some success incorporating more technology into business practices and adding to the tech workforce.

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