Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

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The Wisconsin Idea translating to jobs

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Jeanan Yasiri Moe, Director of Strategic Communications
[email protected] | 608.890.1491

In Janesville, UW technology is “turning bombs into medicine” and that’s just the beginning, says new essay published by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin produces world-class engineers but its innovations can and must benefit the entire state, urge UW College of Engineering Dean Ian Robertson and Greg Piefer, CEO of SHINE Medical Technologies.

In their essay “The University as an advocate for innovations that change the world,” Robertson and Piefer call on citizens and faculty to use their “shared voice” and support the university’s role “in translating new ideas into real life and real jobs.”

Their example is SHINE, a UW spinout which broke ground on a new medical isotope manufacturing facility last year. The company – which expects to create more than 100 permanent jobs and spend over $100 million on construction alone – will produce medical isotopes used to diagnose and treat heart disease and cancer.

They write, “From a seed planted in the head of one University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student, the SHINE medical isotope production facility will reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism and improve the health of over 1 billion people over its lifetime.”

The new essay is part of a larger online series is called “Innovation and the Wisconsin Idea,” featuring more than 20 prominent contributors including university researchers, business leaders and public officials who share their views on the crucial interdependence between university innovations and the strength of the Wisconsin economy.

Co-authors represent different regions of the state while sharing a common bond through the field they represent, from agriculture and engineering to health care and policymaking.

Contributors to the series include:

  • Erik Iverson, Managing Director, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
  • Governor Tommy G. Thompson and Professor Mike Sussman
  • Professor Dan Ludois and Cecil Edirisinghe, CEO of Velicon
  • Chris Salm, CEO of Ab E Discovery, and Dean Kate VandenBosch
  • Dr. Alan Kaplan, CEO of UW Health, and Dr. Susan Turney, CEO of Marshfield Clinic
  • John Neis, Executive Managing Director of Venture Investors, and Cory Nettles, Founder and Managing Director of Generation Growth Capital Inc.
  • Dean Ian Robertson and Greg Piefer, CEO of SHINE Medical Technologies
  • Zach Brandon, President of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and Tim Sheehy, President of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
  • Arjun Sanga, President of WiSys, and Zach Halmstad, Co-Founder of Jamf
  • State Senator Luther Olsen and Dean Robert Golden
  • Chancellor Dean Van Galen and Tom Still, President of the Wisconsin Technology Council
  • State Senator Alberta Darling and Rock Mackie, Professor and Entrepreneur
  • Mike Knetter, President of the University of Wisconsin Foundation

For more information about the series Innovation and the Wisconsin Idea, please visit warf.org/WisconsinInnovates. Comments on the series are welcome at [email protected].

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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 1,900 patents and an investment portfolio of $2.7 billion as it funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry. For more information, visit WARF.org and view WARF’s Cycle of Innovation.