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Tech Digest: Commerce, business-plan contest, tech grants, Metavante

Doyle names new secretary of commerce

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has appointed Mary Burke, who was most recently the director of forecasting and planning for Trek Bicycles, to be the state's next commerce secretary starting February 7. Her predecessor, Cory Nettles, stepped down at the end of 2004 to take a job with a law firm.

Business-plan contest deadline is January 31

Governor Doyle's business-plan contest will stop accepting submissions after January 31. Entrepreneurs who want to enter the contest, which will award cash prizes to the best business plans selected by a panel of judges, need to send them in using the contact information on the contest Web site.

Two Dane County companies get technology grants

The Department of Commerce will give Excite Optics Corporation in Middleton $43,000 and Alpha Universe, LLC, in Madison $35,000 to fund their development and creation of new jobs, the governor said on Wednesday. Excite Optics is developing a portable water-quality monitor and plans to hire grant writing and patent assistance. Alpha Universe is working on characterizing proteins identified in the Human Genome Project.

Metavante hires AT&T for voice and data network

MilwaukeeMetavante Corp., a maker of banking and finance processing products, said it has awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to AT&T to implement a system Metavante can use to monitor client systems and deal with troubleshooting without human interaction.

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