MADISON — The WiSys Technology Advancement Grant (WiTAG), aimed at stimulating inventions from faculty at UW System campuses, was approved recently by the Board of Directors for WiSys and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). UW System President Kevin P. Reilly and Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, made the announcement June 19.
The WiTAG program will allow researchers to collect early, quality data to support federal grant applications by hiring post-doctoral fellows and research assistants, and provide other support for faculty to conduct research and development. The grant is expected to provide a competitive advantage to UW System faculty as they compete for federal, state and private funding for long-term research that will drive economic development throughout the state.
“UW System campuses are well known as centers of teaching excellence and innovation. Now the challenge is to enhance their capacity for the next generation of academic research and development,” Reilly said. “WiSys and WiTAG are important components of that transition.”
The objectives of the program include developing high-value intellectual property and marketable products or processes, and collecting validation data to support extramural funding.
The grants to faculty will be for three years and their research must be targeted for commercialization. Interdisciplinary projects, joint applications from UW System campuses, and collaborations with industry are encouraged.
“ We want to harness the incredible creativity of UW researchers across the state and use it to improve quality of life and strengthen Wisconsin’s economy,” Gulbrandsen said.
WiSys is working with the UW System to add further value to the university’s research and development strategy. Discussions about how to connect WiTAG and UW System research grant programs to further add value and benefit System campuses are ongoing.
WiSys will initiate the program in July. All faculty and staff are welcome to submit pre-proposals, from which a limited number will be invited for a full proposal, which will then be evaluated by external experts. The grant process will be open throughout the year and will not entail an application deadline.
For additional information about the WiTAG program, contact Maliyakal John at (608) 265-2135 or Maliyakal@warf.org.