CONTACT: Jeanan Yasiri Moe, Director of Strategic Communications
(608) 890-1491

MADISON, Wisconsin, February 27, 2018 – The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) has collected opinions from Wisconsin leaders in a new web series of articles called “Innovation and the Wisconsin Idea.” 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.

A link to the web series is located here. People interested in receiving notifications when new articles are posted are encouraged to sign up through this link.

“The Wisconsin Idea is the vision that our university’s positive influence can and should reach every family of the state,” said Erik Iverson, managing director of WARF, who conceived of the project and introduces the series. “This sense of responsibility to connect with our communities is a value I share.”

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.

“The voices we have collected exemplify the strength, power and diversity of the Wisconsin Idea itself,” said Iverson. “By working together, we can find the best, most efficient ways to solve the state’s challenges, create jobs, grow profits and keep revenue in Wisconsin to invest in our people and our economy. We hope the series allows readers to reflect on the positive impact diverse partners have in advancing Wisconsin research, industry and entrepreneurship.”

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
  • Chris Salm, CEO of Ab E Discovery, and Dean Kate VandenBosch
  • 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

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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