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2007 Fast Cities

MADISON, Wisconsin

Population > 543,000

Leading indicator > The University of Wisconsin at Madison spends more on R&D than Stanford, MIT, or Harvard

Fast companies > Promega; Third Wave Technologies; EMD Biosciences

Biotech bastion of the breadbasket. The University of Wisconsin employs about 50 stem-cell researchers, has one of the top tech-transfer programs in the nation, and is sinking $150 million in state and private money into its Institutes of Discovery. That has helped seed more than 100 life-sciences firms in surrounding Dane County.