MADISON, Wis. – University of Wisconsin System institutions submitted 56 proposals totaling more than $75 million, as they vie for $22.5 million from the new UW Incentive Grant program designed to spur economic growth, strengthen the workforce, and improve college affordability.
UW System Regent Emeritus Jeffrey B. Bartell, who chairs the selection committee, congratulated UW institutions on their enthusiastic response.
“This program reflects the growing collaboration between the UW System, its talented faculty, staff, and students, and Wisconsin’s greater business community,” said Bartell. “Our judges have their work cut out for them, selecting from so many detailed, thoughtful proposals. We have a fixed budget, but no shortage of good ideas.”
The new Incentive Grant program was approved earlier this month by the Board of Regents as part of the UW System’s 2013-15 biennial budget, with input from the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance. These one-time funds are to be used during the current biennium for startup, innovative and sustainable economic development projects.
Leaders from business, industry, and economic development organizations statewide will evaluate all UW proposals and select the best programs to receive funding. Grant awards will be announced in November with funding to follow immediately so the university initiatives can begin without delay.
The Incentive Grant program is designed to encourage campus and business collaborations in a variety of areas:
- Economic Development – New programs designed to establish new startups, grow existing businesses, create jobs, or retain jobs; programs that provide financial assistance, tax benefits, or direct services to specific businesses, industries, or organizations.
- Workforce Development –Programs that develop an educated and skilled workforce by increasing the number of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees awarded in high-demand fields; programs that increase the number of internship and cooperative work experience opportunities for students; or programs that enhance research and development.
- College Affordability – Programs that improve the affordability of postsecondary education by reducing the time required to obtain a degree, or by increasing opportunities for high school students to earn credit toward a postsecondary degree or by improving the transfer of credit between higher education institutions.