MILWAUKEE — University of Wisconsin System President Katharine C. Lyall today (06/09/00), at the UW System Board of Regents meeting, announced a new program that will enable all UW campuses to harness the commercial potential of their research discoveries.

The project will support the commercialization of university inventions working with a new subsidiary of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) called WiSys Technology Foundation, Inc.

“We are very excited about the potential of this new project,” said President Lyall. “It should bring new dollars to our campuses, just as WARF has helped UW Madison recapture money from its research inventions for decades. WiSys will provide incentives to our faculty and staff to see their research programs through to the point that products and processes are developed to benefit the ‘real world.'”

In briefing the Regents, University General Counsel Elizabeth Rindskopf-Parker noted that already three new inventions are in the WiSys pipeline and will be pursued for commercial licensing. In all, eight inventions have been identified in the six months that the WiSys program has been under development.

“While it is too early to make predictions on the long-term success of this new venture,” said President Lyall, “this is an auspicious beginning.”

WiSys will pursue the patent and licensing of inventions created at UW institutions with the exception of UW-Madison, under the direction of General Manager Elizabeth L.R. Donley and her team of professional colleagues at WARF.

The systemwide effort will be supported by the UW-Milwaukee Office of Technology Transfer, led by Associate Provost William Rayburn and Technology Transfer Manager K. C. Lerner.

Also on Friday, UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Nancy C. Zimpher announced the creation of a new position, Senior University Legal Counsel for Technology Development. She has appointed P. J. Boylan, who has more than 15 years of university legal experience and considerable intellectual property experience, to this new post.

With the addition of Ms. Boylan, said Zimpher, “we have established a first-rate team that will meet the challenge of making technologies and research resources developed at all UW System institutions more available across Wisconsin.”

The UW-Milwaukee office will provide technical services and support for all UW System campuses with the exception of UW-Madison.

Leaders of WiSys and the UW System expressed optimism about the advantages that this partnership will provide for patenting and licensing inventions created by systemwide faculty and staff. Funds realized from these efforts, said Lyall, will be used to invest in other educational and research programs.


Sharyn Wisniewski, UW System
(608) 262-6448