Corporate/Industry Collaboration

Research, the process of creating knowledge from investment, is at the heart of UWM‘s mission. Innovation, the commercialization of the knowledge, complements research at UWM. By fostering innovation, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee provides a complementary mix of expertise in research management and venture capital investing to support research and innovation at UWM.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Research Foundation (UWMRF) supports research and innovation, corporate partnerships, and intellectual property development. The UWMRF is the first stop for both UWM faculty and industry when considering a university/industry collaboration. UWMRF provides support with:

  • Consultation on partnership benefits between UWM and industry
  • Explore intellectual property opportunities
  • Seek ways to commercialize research

The UWMRF also promotes corporate partnerships and startup companies helping commercialize ideas as they reach later stages of maturity. Underlying all of these activities is the management of intellectual property, including assessing ideas and protecting intellectual property through patents, copyrights, and licensing activities.

UWMRF Support and Assistance

The UWMRF assists researchers and collaborators with navigating complex legal and administrative requirements associated with technology commercialization and protection. Services related to common technology and intellectual property generated through university/campus partnerships appear include:


A new and useful innovation, or a significant improvement to an existing invention, that is fully formed in the mind of the inventor or, better yet, is reduced to practice as an operational model or prototype. Inventions are typically protected by means of a patent.

Computer Software

A sequence of instructions to be executed by a computer. Computer software can be protected under copyright as a work of authorship and, in certain cases, under patent law as an invention. The choice is best made with advice from a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property law. The UWMRF has access to attorneys who can help protect software disclosed to UWM by its faculty, staff, or students.

Works of Authorship

An original and creative expression of the human mind that has been captured in a fixed and tangible form. This category includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, and can be eligible for copyright protection.


To initiate a partnership between UWM and industry or for technology transfer activities:
Brian Thompson, President, UWMRF

For administrative support for contracts:
Anne Kissack, Contract Specialist