UWM Research Foundation

Guiding Innovation. Fostering Partnerships. 
Attract funding and partners to advance, grow and develop the innovation pipeline at UWM.

UWM innovators display their patent and license awards at the UWMRF partner receptionThe UWM Research Foundation (UWMRF) was formed to serve and support UW-Milwaukee faculty and student research through the fostering of corporate research partnerships, igniting UWM-founded startups through programs, funding and education; and leveraging our intellectual property expertise to further support innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration with our community and worldwide.

Since the UWMRF was founded in 2006, we have continued to evolve and provide new sources of crucial funding, education support for our innovators at UWM.

Key Programs Include:

  • Catalyst grants for research projects with potential to become products or services in the marketplace. Through generous donors, since 2007, we have provided $5.8 million to 109 teams, helping them attract an additional $38 million in funding, form 17 startups and obtain 62 issued patents.
  • Bridge grants for UWMRF startup entrepreneurs to reach key new milestones with their product development to attract further investments. To date we have awarded $400,000 to 10 startups with the support of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and matching by donors, and these startups have attracted an additional $9.9 million.
  • ENGAGE Mentors, established in 2020 to provide a seasoned network of 25 experts for our startups at UWM to tap into for advice, networking and support.
  • Startup mini-grants, created with the help of a WEDC grant, to provide small grants of $3000-$5000 to innovator teams participating in the Milwaukee I-Corps customer discovery program to continue momentum towards further product development.
  • SBIR/STTR grant consulting, initiated in 2022, to help UWM innovators identify government commercialization funds to support their own invention or to partner with other small companies to conduct applied research at UWM in their laboratories.
  • Express licensing designed to make the process quick, easy, fair and less expensive so our UWM startups can focus on product development rather than long negotiations.
  • Panther Partnering, created to encourage more industry collaborative research at UWM with our faculty experts. The menu of licensing terms for our intellectual property is transparent, easy and provides a win/win setup for both UWM and the company needing research help.

THANK YOU for participating in 414 for UWM Giving Days to ensure our innovators get the support they need! Please consider making a gift today!

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Senior Class Gift Challenge
Senior Class Gift Challenge
One graduating senior donor, who donates before Tuesday, Apr. 16 at 9:00 a.m. (CST) will be chosen to win an extra $414 towards the fund(s) they supported!
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UWM Research Foundation Innovators Challenge
UWM Research Foundation Innovators Challenge
Christina Fiasca '80, Dr. Ann Nattinger and Jackie Fredrick '88 & '12 will give $4,000 to the UWM Research Fund when 15 donors support this fund.
6 / 15 Donors
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Or you can contact us at advance@uwm.edu.

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