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April 04, 2024 | Tom Ballard

UW-Madison touts new options for research engagements with industry

The Badger IP Industry Advantage program is designed to avoid some of the speed bumps that have slowed the transfer of technology from research to product.

An intellectual property model adopted by the University of Wisconsin (UW)–Madison is making it easier and faster for university researchers to license laboratory discoveries to businesses and entrepreneurs who can then turn them into important and even life-saving commercial products.

With the Badger IP Industry Advantage program, companies interested in conducting research through the university can avoid some of the speed bumps that have slowed the transfer of technology from research to product. The program will make research agreements and associated intellectual property licensing more transparent, simpler, and mostly negotiation-free on fair terms.

“With the Badger IP Industry Advantage program, we are better equipped to create partnerships that build on UW–Madison research discoveries to bring new products to market that address society’s emerging challenges,” says Cynthia Czajkowski, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research.

UW–Madison is a global research powerhouse, spending more than $1.5 billion annually on groundbreaking inquiries.

“To remain among the best in a competitive research environment and to realize the Wisconsin Idea, we need industry partners,” Czajkowski says. “We also know that real-world projects benefit our researchers, students and industry alike.

With the Advantage program, companies interested in partnering on research with UW faculty and staff can lock in greater financial certainty for access to intellectual property.

The three Badger IP Industry Advantage models represent the most common ways industry can partner with the university for research purposes. The names are a nod to UW’s storied history in the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization, and its pride in the Wisconsin Idea.

  • The Classic is the best option for sponsors who desire maximum flexibility in contract terms. It provides, with no upfront fee, a traditional approach of waiting until intellectual property is created to negotiate a license to arising technology.
  • The Varsity is a good option for sponsors who prefer to evaluate the technology before deciding on licensing options and want certainty on nonexclusive access to resulting patents while also retaining an option for exclusive rights.
  • The Bascom is a good option for sponsors who want access to exclusive rights under resulting patents for a fixed and predictable cost.

Under the new program, the UW principal investigator and business sponsor must mutually agree on the selected model.


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