In early 2014, UWM’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in partnership with the Milwaukee Institute for Drug Discovery and UW-Parkside was awarded an Incentive Grant from the University of Wisconsin System to launch the “SE Wisconsin Applied Chemistry Center of Excellence.” This $3 million grant focuses on strengthening applied chemistry resources in SE Wisconsin that will enhance chemistry education, university-industry collaborative research, and student internships; all with the aim of stimulating regional business vitality.
The Center is principally housed in UWM’s Chemistry Building within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The grant funds support:
- New Laboratory Facilities – To facilitate rapid start-up of Center operations a new analytical laboratory in UWM’s Chemistry Building has been renovated. This facility (Chemistry Room 283) houses the Shimadzu Laboratory for Advanced and Applied Analytical Chemistry (see below). In spring 2015 the laboratory will move to the newly constructed Kenwood-Interdisciplinary Research Complex, which will include approximately 2,000 square feet of lab spaces that will host a wet lab, tissue culture lab, instrumentation spaces, and offices.
- Technical Training Course – To maximally use the new analytical instrumentation, classes are now being offered on a rolling basis to train graduate students, post-docs, and faculty on operation and data analysis.
- Translational Grant Program – Eleven grant proposals were funded (totaling approximately $750,000) to support research involving collaboration between UWM and UWP faculty and Wisconsin businesses.
- Transitional Skills/Internship Course – An upper level undergraduate chemistry course entitled “Scientist Career Transitions” was developed and offered at UWM. Examples of course topics include: business organizations, professionalism, conflict resolution, regulation, cross-functional teams, intellectual property, project management, and entrepreneurship. In connection with the classroom experience, the Incentive Grant provides funds to support student internships (scholarships for academic credits) and salary support.