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MADISON, Wis. – With agriculture employing roughly one in nine Wisconsin workers, “industry and universities need each other” say small business owner Christopher Salm and UW Dean Kathryn VandenBosch.

Their essay “UW/Industry Partnerships Yield Better Solutions” is the latest in a new online series examining innovation across the state and featuring more than 20 prominent contributors.

Salm founded Salm Partners in Denmark, Wisconsin, and is CEO of Ab E Discovery based in Madison with a subsidiary in Waterloo. VandenBosch is Dean of the UW–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS).

They write, “In addition to those working in agricultural sectors, all of us eat, and we expect our food to be safe, nutritious, delicious with environmentally responsible production…The Wisconsin Idea reminds us that, with collaboration and innovation, we have the ability to change the world by matching academic interest with a real need.”

The series is called “Innovation and the Wisconsin Idea.” In addition to Salm and VandenBosch, contributors include university researchers and educators, business leaders and entrepreneurs, investors, and public officials who share their views on the crucial interdependence between university innovations and the strength of the Wisconsin economy.

Co-authors represent different regions of the state while sharing a common bond through the field they represent, from agriculture and engineering to health care and policymaking.

Contributors to the series include:

Erik Iverson, Managing Director, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
Governor Tommy G. Thompson and Professor Mike Sussman
Professor Dan Ludois and Cecil Edirisinghe, CEO of Velicon
Dr. Alan Kaplan, CEO of UW Health, and Dr. Susan Turney, CEO of Marshfield Clinic
John Neis, Executive Managing Director of Venture Investors, and Cory Nettles, Founder and Managing Director of Generation Growth Capital Inc.
Dean Ian Robertson and Greg Piefer, CEO of SHINE Medical Technologies
Zach Brandon, President of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and Tim Sheehy, President of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
Arjun Sanga, President of WiSys, and Zach Halmstad, Co-Founder of Jamf
State Senator Luther Olsen and Dean Robert Golden
Chancellor Dean Van Galen and Tom Still, President of the Wisconsin Technology Council
State Senator Alberta Darling and Rock Mackie, Professor and Entrepreneur
Mike Knetter, President of the University of Wisconsin Foundation

For more information about the series Innovation and the Wisconsin Idea, please visit Comments on the series are welcome at

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About WARF

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) helps steward the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization and investment for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founded in 1925 as an independent, nonprofit foundation, WARF manages more than 1,900 patents and an investment portfolio of $2.7 billion as it funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry. For more information, visit and view WARF’s Cycle of Innovation.

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