University Economic Development Association


The University as a Talent Engine: Fostering Entrepreneurial Skills & Talent

Award Category: Talent
Submitted By: WiSys / University of Wisconsin System
Program Info: Learn More


By focusing on students, WiSys is facilitating award-winning undergraduate research programs, developing and commercializing discoveries through a shared-services model, and fostering a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking at the University of Wisconsin’s regional universities.

Traditional university research and intellectual property development focuses on supporting faculty, working to commercialize their inventions and discoveries. For WiSys, a nonprofit university technology transfer foundation, and the University of Wisconsin’s regional universities, engaging undergraduate students in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship is a primary focus. This has helped to energize commercialization of student-inspired inventions and to accelerate the transfer and development of human potential from the university to industry.

WiSys provides a shared service delivery model of research, innovation and entrepreneurship support for the 11 public, comprehensive and primarily undergraduate University of Wisconsin System universities. Spread across the widely diverse economic and geographic regions of Wisconsin, these campuses serve more than 100,000 students, faculty and staff who benefit from WiSys’ expertise without having to individually shoulder the cost of these services.

Prioritizing students as the primary constituency is a key reason why WiSys and the campuses it serves rank second in the nation among smaller research institutions in a major report on the innovation impact of U.S. universities. This student focus is also why the WiSys collaborative technology transfer model has been recognized for two years in a row for its innovative structure and its success in driving positive outcomes by the world’s largest university-industry association based in Amsterdam.

University Economic Development Association

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