South Eastern Wisconsin Applied Chemistry Center-of-Excellence was established in the department. We are pleased to announce that it will receive a $3 million grant under the University of Wisconsin System Incentive Grant Program. The grant proposal entitled “SE Wisconsin Applied Chemistry Center-of-Excellence” is a collaboration between UW-Milwaukee and UW-Parkside and was one of 12 grant proposals selected for funding from a total of 56 entries from UW institutions statewide.
The Incentive Grant Program is designed to strengthen the relationships between the UW System and Wisconsin businesses. As such, funded programs and activities are expected to support economic development programs, develop an educated and skilled workforce, and improve affordability of post-secondary education.
The Center addresses each of these program goals by connecting facilities, grants, and student internships. First, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will establish a new analytical laboratory to accommodate collaborative research projects between industry and university scientists. The lab will be equipped with a suite of advanced analytical instrumentation with a focus on several mass spectrometers, with capabilities for identification and structural characterization of biomolecules, proteomics, and tissue imaging. The breadth of expertise provided in the Center and collaborating institutions extends into many chemistry fields, including drug discovery and development, analysis of environmental waters and soils, industrial processing, sensor development, and novel functional materials. In addition, grants of up to $100,000 each will be awarded for translational research to advance discoveries into potential products, i.e., those studies occurring between uncovering the discovery and commercial proof-of-concept. Grants will be awarded to faculty researchers who are teamed with a commercial partner working on economically compelling translational or applied research. Finally, the Center will coordinate internships to train undergraduate and graduate students with advanced instrumentation and prepare them for careers in chemistry industries. An innovative internship/professional transitions course for upper-level science undergraduates will be launched in the UWM Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in January 2014. Students who go on to a chemistry internship may receive tuition scholarships to offset the cost of course credit received from the internship experience.
The Center will greatly enhance the research and educational resources in SE Wisconsin and substantially increase chemistry expertise to support regional and state-wide industry.