MADISON, Wis.—A new bipartisan law passed by the Legislature and signed today by Gov. Tony Evers will streamline the process by which University of Wisconsin System faculty members can enter into research contracts involving the university and an organization with which the same faculty members are connected.
AB 38 supports the UW System’s innovative and entrepreneurial faculty who work on cutting-edge research and commercialize their work, while maintaining important policies to ensure the appropriate management plan is in place and potential conflicts of interest are addressed.
“This law will help accelerate the critical research UW System does to benefit Wisconsin and the world,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “We’re grateful to the Legislature and Gov. Evers for their bipartisan support of this new law.”
Cross specifically thanked Senators Dan Feyen and Fred Risser, and Representatives Dave Murphy and Shelia Stubbs for co-authoring the legislation.
Currently, if a university faculty member enters into a research contract with an organization with which the faculty member is involved, the contract must undergo a 45-day passive review process by the Board of Regents if the contract is worth more than $250,000. This delays getting beneficial research into the market that can improve lives and communities.
AB 38 eliminates the passive review process and lifts the contract threshold, but it requires the Board of Regents to create a policy on management plans that institutions must adhere to, ensuring all research contracts continue to be appropriately managed.
The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 170,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. More than 80 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.