WARF’s Gulbrandsen to receive lifetime award


Jeanan Yasiri Moe
WARF Director of Strategic Communications

In recognition of a career defined by innovation, Carl E. Gulbrandsen, managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), will be honored with the In Business "Lifetime Achievement Award."

This honor will be highlighted in the February issue of In Business magazine and be part of a reception featuring the state's top executives to be held Tuesday, February 16, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Overture Center for the Arts.

To register, visit www.ibmadison.com/In-Business-Madison/Executive-of-the-Year.

Gulbrandsen, who is slated to retire this year, has served as managing director since 2000. His tenure has seen WARF increase grant support for UW–Madison, expand its entrepreneurial mission throughout the state and chart scientific milestones from embryonic stem cells to lifesaving vaccine research.

"Carl is a top chief executive," says Peter Tong, president of the WARF board of trustees. "His accomplishments over 18 years have been transformational for WARF. He has put a superb team in place that helped make WARF one of the top technology transfer organizations in the world and a leading innovator in investment management."

Under Gulbrandsen's leadership, the WARF endowment has doubled to more than $2.6 billion. Since 2000, WARF has gifted $895 million to UW–Madison.

To advance startup activity on and beyond campus, he helped spearhead new programs including Discovery to Product (D2P), the UpStart program for women and minority entrepreneurs, and 4490 Ventures – a local venture capital firm focused on technology.

Gulbrandsen was instrumental in the creation of the WiCell Research Institute – a globally renowned stem cell bank – as well as WiSys Technology Foundation and the multidisciplinary Morgridge Institute for Research housed within the Discovery Building.

He also guided WARF through several successful patent infringement cases defending WARF patents arising from UW research.

When he announced his retirement last spring, Gulbrandsen said that joining WARF and serving the university "is the best professional decision I ever made."

"I'm humbled by this recognition," Gulbrandsen says. "The opportunity to lead WARF – a foundation that supports our great UW–Madison and the great research and innovation it produces – has been a distinct privilege."

About WARF
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) helps steward the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization and investment for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Founded in 1925 as an independent, nonprofit foundation, WARF manages more than 1,600 patents and an endowment of $2.6 billion as it funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry. For more information, visit warf.org.