The advancement of medical imaging technology is the impetus behind a partnership between GE Healthcare and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee announced this week. GE will bring $3 million to the table to fund the creation of a new center to train future medical imaging software developers, while UWM will develop a curriculum for the students.
Of the $3 million commitment from GE, $1 million will be earmarked for the university's Catalyst Grant program, which provides money for imaging research.
Another driver of the partnership--a five-year joint effort, according to the school--was a desire to keep medical imaging jobs in state. GE currently has 6,500 employees in Wisconsin, according to the announcement, while a vast majority (85 percent) of graduates from UWM choose to remain in the state. The partnership allows GE to offer continuing education to its employees while growing its local talent pipeline; likewise, students who take some of the new classes will have internship and job opportunities with GE.
"We want to draw from a stronger talent pool of local people," Bill Berezowitz, vice president and general manager of imaging subsystems for GE, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Last year, GE Global Research and Analog Devices collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to launch the Medical Electronic Device Realization Center, aimed at exploring the interface between health IT and various types of medical devices.
In 2010, GE partnered with UPMC to test a PACS-like digital pathology system. The effort stemmed from a joint venture agreed upon by the two entities in 2008 to launch a new imaging company, Omnyx LLC.