M-WERC forms partnership with GRAPES consortium

This summer, the M-WERC Board of Directors approved the strategic plan for 2019-21. As we begin to act on our three-year mission, the organization consists of 100 members, partners, and supporters from across Wisconsin and the Midwest. It has created a strong ecosystem for technology innovation, industry development and talent development and is recognized by its members and partners for the impact it has had in expanding the regional focus and advancement of the energy, power and control industry across the Midwest.

Our strategic plan affirms a new public-private partnership model. M-WERC members asked for research with a greater sustained value so we’ve developed this new public-private research partnership model. This model has identified a three- to five-year research horizon with several coordinated research projects that will help M-WERC and its members realize more impactful research results that support their business objectives.

In order to help our members maximize their leverage of M-WERC’s research dollars, M-WERC will partner with globally recognized consortiums that support our research space. The new M-WERC strategic plan identified the tremendous value new partnership models with key consortia bring. We want to further increase our members’ research leverage through these partnerships as part of our research pipeline strategy.

“Partnering with other consortiums is another tool in the toolbox for M-WERC members to maximize our research efforts,” said Dan Ebert, Director of M-WERC’s Madison Office. “In some cases, M-WERC will take the lead, in other cases our partner consortiums can take the lead, so we can do things efficiently. We need to take advantage of these opportunities.”

This fall, M-WERC announced its first partnership, with Grid-Connected Advanced Power Electronics Systems (GRAPES), another consortium in the Power and Controls arena. GRAPES’ mission is to accelerate the adoption and insertion of power electronics into the electric grid in order to improve system stability, flexibility, robustness, and economy. GRAPES currently has 16 members representing utility companies, defense contractors, equipment manufacturers, and component suppliers. GRAPES features outstanding facilities to support the activities of the center and its researchers. Made up of academic expert from UW-Milwaukee, the University of Arkansas and the University of South Carolina the research teams employ specialized tools for ongoing research in modeling and physical power systems.

GRAPES’ Industrial Advisory board directs the research conducted by GRAPES. During the course of the year, members provide input through the strategic planning process. As a board member of GRAPES, M-WERC participated earlier this month in the first proposal process where GRAPES approved $260,000 in new research, including three research projects at UW-Milwaukee. Four of the projects that were identified by GRAPES compliment M-WERC’s extreme power conversion research pipeline.

A partnership with a consortium like GRAPES helps M-WERC build upon its strength as an agent for collaborative research growth.

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