Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

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WARF announces annual grant figures and all-virtual Innovation Day

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) has granted the university $88.5 million for the 2020-21 academic year.

November 18th webinar will feature inventor quick pitches

Jeanan Yasiri Moe, Director of Strategic Communications
[email protected] | (608) 960-9892

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) has granted the university $88.5 million for the 2020-21 academic year. It also announced $11.8 million in grants to the Morgridge Institute for Research. Combined, WARF’s investment in research and education is $100.3 million for 2020-21.

WARF also announced that Innovation Day will be held via webinar on November 18. The signature fall event will showcase quick pitches, special guests and high-potential technologies ranging from sports medicine to virtual reality.

“The vision that University of Wisconsin discoveries can and must touch lives has inspired our partnership for 95 years,” said WARF CEO Erik Iverson. “The annual grant is one way that WARF helps grow and sustain a research enterprise called upon to solve our most pressing challenges and compete with the best in the world.”

2020-21 A Guide to WARF Support for UW-Madison thumbnail
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The total grant includes $12 million for faculty recruitment and retention, $2.5 million for faculty fellowships and $11.5 million for graduate student support.

“Historically the outstanding partnership between UW-Madison and WARF has kept us on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery. The support we receive from WARF is even more critical now as we navigate the challenges brought by the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said. “The basic research that leads to scientific and medical breakthroughs begins at major research institutions like UW-Madison. The generous support we receive from WARF allows UW-Madison the flexibility needed to capitalize on new research opportunities, helps us recruit and retain key faculty, provides support for promising graduate students, and enhances our overall research infrastructure.”

$10.9 million is dedicated to the time-honored Fall Research Competition, which draws hundreds of research proposals from as many as 120 different academic departments each year.

In addition, $10 million has been allocated to the UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative, which offers seed funding to advance some of the boldest and most prescient research on campus. Another $5 million provides grant matches for instrumentation, facilities, doctoral training and research programs.

“In a year of uncertainty, we are especially grateful that we are able to count on WARF for its continued investment in research and innovation at UW-Madison,” says Steve Ackerman, vice chancellor for research and graduate education. “WARF’s annual gift provides the backbone of support for special initiatives, graduate student assistance and recruitment and retention of the best and brightest faculty who are tackling some of society’s greatest challenges.”

$8.2 million is committed to the university’s cluster hire program (Endowment for Excellence), Wisconsin crop improvement and biochemistry innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives including the Law/Business Entrepreneurship Clinics.

As in prior years, WARF’s annual grant does not include the tens of millions of dollars in additional support WARF provides the university by covering the costs of patenting, licensing, commercialization and outreach activities. WARF’s support of these services is a unique model in higher education as the vast majority of universities around the nation must bear the cost of such expenses on their own.

WARF’s support for the Morgridge Institute for Research continues, with an investment of $11.8 million. The private, nonprofit institute works to improve human health through interdisciplinary biomedical research in collaboration with UW-Madison.

“The vital support that WARF provides annually to the Morgridge Institute is helping fuel critical basic biomedical discoveries that impact regenerative medicine, virology, metabolism and medical technology,” said Morgridge CEO Brad Schwartz. “WARF support helps us attract and retain world-class scientists who catalyze creative collaborations with our UW-Madison partners.”

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 2,000 patents and an investment portfolio 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.