UW-Madison and Industry Partnerships
The University of Wisconsin-Madison boasts some of the finest minds in research today, and has been doing so since 1887. Such knowledge is meant to be disseminated for the benefit of the State, the nation, and globally. Research conducted at the UW has led to innovative technologies that have impacted countless lives. The ability to transfer discoveries to commercialization is best achieved when the University forms relationships with industrial sponsors. We constantly look for new opportunities and new partnerships that have the potential to lead to products and services that have an impact on the world around us.
Our partners have several things in common. They:
- are enthusiastic about being at the forefront of cutting edge technology
- want access to the finest students – future employees – in advance of graduation
- want the opportunity to work with extraordinary UW faculty who have special expertise in their area of interest
- want access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities
- enjoy close relationships with their university counterparts
- are excited about taking a technology to market for the public good
We’d love to have you join us. Here’s how to get started.
The Process of Establishing a Sponsored Research Project
Any research project begins and ends with the UW researcher and the industrial sponsor. Many of these interactions are based on long-term, established relationships. For help in linking with a UW researcher in your area of interest, a good starting point is the Office of Corporate Relations. OCR offers many resources to help you.
Once a mutual understanding of the research project is agreed on, the UW researcher prepares a proposal describing the work to be done, along with a budget. The salary items include a fringe benefit rate that is a pooled cost, any equipment and supplies that will be needed, and other costs that are directly attributal to the project. The budget will also include a Facilities and Administration (F&A) cost. The F&A percentage is negotiated with the UW's cognizant federal agency and, by federal law, cannot be lowered or waived.
Proposal Review and Submission
When the proposal is complete, it is routed via an electronic system to the researcher, the Department Chair, the Dean's Office, and Research & Sponsored Programs for the appropriate approvals. These approvals can happen simultaneously. The proposal is then sent to the industrial sponsor in whatever way the sponsor has requested. If all is well, the time from submission in the electronic system to submission to the sponsor is less than a day.
Once the sponsor sends an awarding document back to the UW, the Office of Industrial Partnerships (OIP) orchestrates an internal conversation among several different offices. If negotiation of the terms is required, OIP works with the sponsor's legal representative to agree on mutually acceptable language. OIP consults with the UW's designated patent management agent, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), for matters pertaining to protection and licensing of intellectual property related to the agreement. If no federal funding is involved, such an option may sometimes be granted by the UW investigator(s), subject to prior contractual commitments made by the UW and review by WARF. If the research is also being supported by federal funds, the provisions of federal statutes are such that such an option can be granted only by WARF. In these instances, the sponsor and WARF negotiate directly for a license.
For more information about the nature of research agreements at the University, see the Guide to Research Agreements page.
Once negotiations are completed and a contract is signed by an authorized University official and countersigned by the industry partner, a project account is established by Research & Sponsored Programs, who administers the account. The investigator is notified and may begin spending funds for the research project. Any later modifications in the terms and conditions must route through OIP.
Technical and Financial Close-out
The investigator is responsible for providing any technical/project reporting to the sponsor. The financial close-out is under the purview of Research & Sponsored Programs. Because of the lag in some University billing systems, RSP requests at least thirty (30) days to submit a final financial report/invoice.
Office of Industrial Partnerships
202 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706