WARF annual grant reaches all areas of campus

October 1, 2015

From faculty recruitment to the new UW2020 WARF Discovery Initiative, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is investing in the future of UW–Madison.

WARF, the nonprofit foundation that patents and commercializes campus inventions, has granted the university $58.5 million for the 2015-16 academic year.

“WARF exists to benefit UW–Madison,” says WARF Managing Director Carl Gulbrandsen. “We support campus competitiveness through our investments of time, expertise and funds. The annual grant is one way we’re proud to show our commitment.”

The total includes $9.3 million for faculty recruitment and retention and $12 million for graduate fellowships. Some $10.9 million has been dedicated to the Fall Research Competition, a nearly century-old tradition that draws hundreds of research proposals from 120 departments each year. WARF funding for the university’s cluster hire initiative — an effort to support interdisciplinary studies — continues at $5 million.

“WARF exists to benefit UW–Madison. We support campus competitiveness through our investments of time, expertise and funds. ”

Carl Gulbrandsen

“WARF’s generous support propels excellence, creativity and innovation at the University of Wisconsin,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

This year, $5 million has been provided to the UW2020 WARF Discovery Initiative, which will provide seed funding to researchers to begin research that taps creativity and inventiveness. “Federal research funding has become increasingly focused on established research programs and ideas, rather than novel approaches in their infancy,” says Marsha Mailick, vice chancellor for research and graduate education. “The WARF Discovery Initiative will provide seed funding to researchers to begin research that they could otherwise only dream of undertaking and which leads to significant new discoveries and outside funding.”

A total of $856,400 was approved to support law and business entrepreneurship clinics as well as D2P (Discovery to Product), a program designed to nurture business startups and make more venture capital available in the state.

In addition to these funds, WARF approved $14 million to continue its support for the Morgridge Institute for Research. The private, nonprofit institute works to improve human health through interdisciplinary biomedical research in collaboration with UW–Madison.

Together, funding for all university and supporting organization categories totals almost $72.5 million for 2015-16.

Illustration: Infographic of WARF grants