Based on the National Institutes for Health model, of which Thompson ran as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Service, the new institute would be located in Milwaukee, further affirming the leadership of the Milwaukee Water Council.
Thompson said his plan would create jobs and long-term economic growth by further establishing Milwaukee as the international leader in fresh water science and technology.
"We have an opportunity now to open the floodgates of long-term, sustainable economic growth in the Milwaukee region," said Thompson, a candidate for the U.S. Senate. "Water can be more than just our brand, it can become our economic edge and a spark for an economic and cultural resurgence."
Thompson made his announcement with the Milwaukee Water Council along the shore of Lake Michigan.
"This proposal continues to put Milwaukee on the path to being the place to live, work and invest if you're serious about water," said Thompson. "I share The Milwaukee Water CounciI's dream that Milwaukee can be the Silicon Valley for water, providing long-term economic and job development for the region-and believe this plan is yet another step in the right direction."
The proposed institute would neither be a regulatory agency, nor require additional taxpayer money, rather combining available resources for more efficient use, Thompson said.
"Thanks to the Milwaukee Water Council, we have a clear competitive advantage. No other city is even close to creating an identity around water or building the level of expertise and public-private collaboration that already exists in Milwaukee," Thompson said.
Thompson is a Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin.