by Erik Iverson

Erik IversonFrom the moment I arrived in Wisconsin last year, I loved the familiar energy, intellect, and passion for doing things well. I was happy to return to my Midwestern roots.

For more than 90 years, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which I lead, has funded researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to give rise to their inventions, which WARF then patents and licenses to companies that turn those inventions into products. This work creates family-sustaining jobs in Wisconsin, grows the state’s economy and provides revenue for the university.

But we can do more. We must find better ways to tap into the collective intelligence and energy of all of the campuses in the UW System. And we must work together to build a continual feedback loop with the people of our state so the Wisconsin System universities can better understand the challenges they face and identify sustainable and valuable solutions.

This sense of responsibility to connect with our communities is summed up by the Wisconsin Idea, the long-standing vision that the university’s positive influence should reach every family. It is a value I share.

That’s why one of my highest priorities is to expand WARF’s contribution to the Wisconsin Idea.

We have tremendous potential for innovation. Just this month, UW-Madison engineering professor Daniel Ludois was honored by the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation as one of five inventors in the United States working on ideas that will change the world. WARF invested in his cutting-edge research on electric motors. Read more here.