As part of their ongoing mission to support scientific research within the UW–Madison community, and translate innovation to the marketplace, WARF manages a technology development program called the WARF Accelerator Program. This program invests in proof-of-concept milestones that validate market potential, demonstrate commercial value, and de-risk technology to attract industry partners or investors. In 2018-2019 alone, the program awarded over $2.4 million to help inventors bridge the oft-described “valley of death” through developing prototypes, executing critical field trials, assessing markets, determining customer requirements, and identifying collaborators and potential investors. The program market focus areas include computer science and engineering, clean technology, food and agriculture, healthcare, and research tools.

“The WARF Accelerator Program is an important resource for UW inventors. They provide support for technical de-risking that is generally not available from any other funding source.” -Bill Murphy, Director of the Forward BIO Institute
The Accelerator Program employs a staged project management process to guide technology innovation from opportunity identification, through late stage marketing and licensing opportunities. The Forward BIO Institute and the WARF Accelerator program have established a new partnership leveraging both organizations’ phase-based and comprehensive project management structures.