State Economic Engagement and Development Awards Fund Technology Transfer at UW–Madison

Discovery to Product (D2P) has granted six awards totaling nearly $600,000 to help faculty and staff startups advance research to help commercialize technologies under the State Economic Engagement and Development (SEED) Research Program, funded by the State of Wisconsin.

“D2P is thrilled to administer the SEED program to help faculty and staff close the research gap,” says D2P Director Andy Richards. “There are so many amazing technologies associated with university discoveries on this campus—this unique program provides important resources to help the associated startup companies conduct research here on campus that facilitates further development of their innovations and better positions them for introduction to the marketplace.”

Applications were judged on technical innovation, interest to a broad economic sector, and potential to benefit Wisconsin’s industrial and economic development in the near term.

There were three funded projects in health care, including development of a new test to help doctors select the most effective antibiotics to treat infections where multiple bacterial organisms are present, development of a technology that automates complex protein analysis to aid in drug development, and preclinical testing of human-induced pluripotent stem cell derived pancreatic cells for the treatment and potential reversal of diabetes.

A project in clean technology is developing sustainable chemicals derived from plant biomass for the paint and coatings industry.

A project in workplace safety is developing an app that uses machine vision and artificial intelligence to analyze, evaluate, and improve lifting ergonomics in the workplace to reduce the number of lower back injuries.

A project in veterinary medicine will develop safer and more effective vaccines to battle human and animal diseases, including bronchitis.

The goal of the SEED program is to generate additional private and public sector support for research that takes place on the UW–Madison campus and promotes technology transfer between the University and industry.

Following is a complete list of the projects funded by the SEED program in fiscal year 2020:

PI Department/School Project Title Startup Company
Professor David Beebe Pathology & Laboratory Medicine (School of Medicine & Public Health) Polymicrobial Antibiotic Susceptibility Test Assay (PASTA) Turba
Dr. Faraz Choudhury Biotechnology Center (Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education) Plasma-Induced Modification to Biomolecules Immuto Scientific
Professor George Huber Chemical & Biological Engineering (Engineering) 1,5-Pentanediol: A New Bio-based Monomer for the Coatings Industry Pyran
Professor Jon Odorico Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery (School of Medicine and Public Health) Reversal of Diabetes in Mice by Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Beta Cells Regenerative Medical Solutions
Professor Robert Radwin Industrial Engineering (Engineering) Computer Vision Technology to Automatically Measure, Quantify, and Identify Risk for Occupational Back Injuries KineVid
Professor Adel Talaat Pathobiological Sciences (School of Veterinary Medicine) A Novel Adjuvant System for Animal and Human Vaccines Pan Genome Systems