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4 July 2014

Wisconsin gets new $1m fund

The seed fund will support commercialisation of medical technology developed at Wisconsin University’s School of Medicine and Public Health.

Author: Thierry Heles, reporter

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Wisconsin Technology Innovation Initiative (Wi2) are launching a $1m seed fund that will support commercialisation of medical technology developed at Wisconsin-Madison University’s School of Medicine and Public Health.

WEDC has provided half the money to Wi2, which will manage the fund, for the seed fund through its Capital Catalyst programme, which offers matching grants to seed funds by regional organisations. The remaining $500,000 has been secured from private investors. Wi2 is hoping to increase this to $2m.

Wi2 will start accepting applications over the summer 2014, but it is expected that a first investment will be made in the commercialisation of Alzheimer’s disease markers and treatments. The research is currently being undertaken at the School of Medicine’s Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute. The institute has developed the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention, the US’s first and largest longitudinal Alzheimer's prevention research programme. The seed fund should enable the institute to find commercial opportunities for its data set from the study.

The new fund follows the seed fund established earlier this year by WEDC and the Wisconsin University system worth $2m. That fund was set up to commercialise technology developed on campuses across the state.

Paul DeLuca, provost at Wisconsin-Madison University, said: “It is hard to overemphasise the importance of this award to Wi2. We are working hard to identify and spin off commercial applications from a large and diverse program of research. Wi2 and its aim of speeding medical technologies and knowledge to the market, and its positioning as a private, non-profit organisation, becomes a valuable tool that promises to help us commercialise a key segment of our research portfolio.”

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