Herzfeld Foundation Gives UWM $1.5 Million for Innovation, Research

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has received a $1.5 million gift from the Herzfeld Foundation in October 2016. The university’s Innovation Campus and the UWM Research Foundation’s Catalyst Grant Program will receive $1 million from the gift, which is the foundation’s second $1 million donation to those programs. The remainder of the gift is for unrestricted support.

Located in Wauwatosa, Innovation Campus is a place where business, industry, and academic researchers collaborate to launch intellectual property. The Catalyst Grant Program provides seed funding for research and development that has the potential to impact southeastern Wisconsin’s economy. Unrestricted funds allow the university to address needs that cannot be anticipated and do not fall within specific categories.

“We are extremely pleased that the Herzfeld Foundation has chosen to partner with us to promote innovation,” Mone said. “Research is a strategic driver of UW-Milwaukee, and Innovation Campus and our catalyst grants are bringing new ideas to the marketplace. I am deeply grateful to the Herzfeld Foundation for their vision and generosity.”

The Herzfeld Foundation awards grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, arts education, and civic improvements. Funding is restricted to Wisconsin-based organizations with an emphasis on those that benefit people in the greater Milwaukee area.

“This foundation was created because Richard and Ethel Herzfeld were passionate about enhancing the quality of life in the greater Milwaukee area,” said F. William Haberman, president of the Herzfeld Foundation. “UWM has a tremendous impact on our community, and the research being done at its Innovation Campus and through its Catalyst Grant Program holds great promise for the wellbeing and economic vitality of our city.”

Innovation Campus is home to the 25,000-square-foot Innovation Accelerator building. The Accelerator brings researchers from UWM, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Concordia University Wisconsin, and other academic institutions together with industry partners and startups to encourage academic research with commercial potential.

“Support from organizations like the Herzfeld Foundation is a great vote of confidence for what we are accomplishing at Innovation Campus,” said David Gilbert, president of the UWM Foundation and executive director of Innovation Campus. “This gift will create many opportunities for our faculty and students to collaborate with other academic institutions and the business community.”

Some projects conducted at Innovation Campus are supported by the Catalyst Grant Program, which fosters projects at their earlier stages and provides gap funding to aid development of projects further along the continuum toward commercialization.

“I am deeply grateful to receive this support from the Herzfeld Foundation,” said Brian Thompson, president of the UWM Research Foundation. “This gift will advance our efforts to develop intellectual property and the commercialization of UWM technologies. I know the Herzfelds intended to lift up the city of Milwaukee and the surrounding region, and that’s exactly what we are doing. The Herzfeld Foundation’s generosity will help us focus on research areas that complement our regional capabilities, such as advanced automation, biochemistry and drug discovery, biomedical engineering, energy, entrepreneurship, health care, and water. I am excited about this gift and the future of our city.”