WARF announces record investment in UW-Madison research this year

Bascom Hall
UW-Madison

Last updated on October 25th, 2021 at 02:41 pm

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation announced Monday it is making its largest-ever annual investment in University of Wisconsin-Madison research this year.

The $216.8 million investment in the state’s flagship university this academic year includes WARF’s traditional base grant, which totals $63.6 million, along with several other supplemental grants. A total of $55 million will support new research buildings, and $40 million is directed to pandemic support.

“For the past 19 months the UW-Madison community has risen to the challenge of a global pandemic without ever giving ground in its mission to teach and discover,” said Erik Iverson, WARF chief executive officer. “We also know our greatest challenges and opportunities lie ahead. WARF is pleased to be part of the solution through our annual grant, additional facility and pandemic support and our everyday work advancing Badger inventions to market.”

The investment also includes $35 million in the form of operational and functional support provided by WARF to UW-Madison, as well as $11.4 million in grants to the Morgridge Institute for Research, a Madison-based private, nonprofit biomedical research institute.

Of WARF’s base grant, $13 million is designated for faculty recruitment and retention, $2.5 million for faculty fellowships and $11.5 million for graduate students support.

“Recruiting and retaining top faculty to teach the next generation of Wisconsin leaders and innovators is a top priority. We are fortunate to have a strong and generous partner in WARF to help us in that goal,” said UW-Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank says. “The support we receive from WARF allows UW-Madison to advance our research enterprise, provide support to promising graduate students, and maintain a margin of excellence that keeps our institution in the top tier of American universities.”

Other notable investments include:

  • $10.9 million dedicated to the Fall Research Competition, which draws hundreds of research proposals from as many as 120 different academic departments each year.
  • $10.5 million allocated to strategic initiatives such as Research Forward, which provides funding to advance research on campus.
  • $8.2 million committed to the university’s cluster hire program and other targeted research programs and initiatives, including the Discovery to Product and the Law/Business Entrepreneurship Clinics on campus.
  • $5.5 million toward grant matches for instrumentation, facilities, doctoral training and research programs.
  • $1.5 million for leadership, personnel, policy and implementation support.

Since its founding in 1925, WARF has provided support for UW-Madison in the form of technology commercialization and asset management. The foundation manages more than 2,000 patents and investment portfolio.

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Lauren Anderson is an associate editor and covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism.

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