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Information for Prospective Accelerator Program Applicants


  1. Projects selected for the Accelerator Program must be designed to advance commercialization of patents or patent applications that are assigned to WARF and have significant market or public benefit potential. Accelerator Program support will be focused on achieving a specific milestone that will enhance the commercial potential of the technology.
  2. Accelerator Program projects will be assigned to one of our market focus areas, currently: (1) Health Care, (2) Computer Science and Engineering, (3) Clean Technology, (4) Food and Agriculture and (5) Research Tools.
  3. Accelerator Program investigators must be qualified as a PI by their department and are responsible for all necessary approvals to conduct their research. All Accelerator Program relationships are with qualified PIs at UW–Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research. The Accelerator Program does not accept applications from companies or others attempting to form companies.
  4. The Accelerator Program supports development of technologies to reach commercially significant milestones. The specific funds and resources provided for each award will be determined by WARF and the Accelerator Program Catalysts based on the specific needs of each project. Awards to support work performed at UW–Madison are administered through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE).


  1. The first step for consideration in the Accelerator Program is filing an Invention Disclosure Report (IDR) with WARF. Inventors who have filed an IDR should consult with their Licensing Manager to determine if they are candidates for the Accelerator Program.
  2. The WARF Intellectual Property and Licensing Team will interview the investigator and decide if the proposed technology is appropriate for action by WARF. They also will identify projects that appear to be a potential fit for the Accelerator Program and help select milestones that are commercially important and within the scope of the program.
  3. Investigators selected for consideration will work with their Licensing Manager and the Accelerator Program Manager to prepare a proposal. Once it appears that the project will be presented, the investigator will be asked to submit a short application form including a project budget and approval from their department and to prepare a written and oral project proposal.
  4. Proposals will be presented to a group of selected Accelerator Program Catalysts and WARF managers. This group will recommend awards and other support along with specific milestones. The final decision regarding support will be made by WARF. Not all proposals will be supported.
  5. Accelerator Program support may be financial and/or provision of other resources such as the opportunity to interact with our Catalysts, or engagement of consultants or contractors to accomplish specific goals. In some cases, the support that is awarded may be different from that requested by the investigator. The Accelerator Program does not fund the salary of the Principal Investigator and prefers not to fund the purchase of capital equipment. Travel is only funded under extraordinary circumstances with specific justification. The support will be linked to accomplishment of specific milestones and may be provided in phases. Accelerator Program support will only be provided as described in the written commitment letter provided by WARF. This letter will specifically describe the support awarded to the project and the requirements that must be met by the investigator. WARF and the VCRGE will verify that funds are being spent as proposed in the project plan and fund the account each semester based on actual expenditures. WARF will provide a separate commitment letter for each subsequent phase of the project once the investigator has achieved the required milestones and progress has been reviewed by WARF and the Accelerator Program Catalysts.
  6. Investigators receiving support from the Accelerator Program will communicate the project's progress by providing periodic progress reports, attending select Accelerator Program update meetings, providing information to assist in promoting the Accelerator Program and meeting regularly with the Licensing Manager and Accelerator Program Manager to help commercialize their technology.
  7. WARF maintains a current list of Accelerator Program projects including the title, investigator(s) and a short description on our website. We also may include short project updates in our promotional materials. Investigators should notify us if there is information they don't want included on our website or in our promotional materials.