By David Tenenbaum, UW-Madison
Carl Gulbrandsen will retire June 30 after 16 years as managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the independent, nonprofit foundation that aids scientific research and education at UW–Madison.
WARF is a major driver of innovation and economic development in Wisconsin, applying for patents on discoveries of UW–Madison faculty and staff and then licensing the patents. Currently the foundation manages more than 1,700 patents based on UW–Madison discoveries.
A percentage of the licensing revenues is shared with the inventors and the balance becomes part of WARF’s investment portfolio, which currently totals $2.6 billion. The foundation provides annual grants ($92.5 million in fiscal year 2015-16) to campus and affiliated organizations.
To pay tribute to Gulbrandsen’s service, the WARF board of directors has created a chair in early childhood education named for him and his wife, Mary, in the School of Education.
A native of Viroqua, Wisconsin, Gulbrandsen has a Ph.D. in physiology and a law degree, both from UW–Madison. He spoke recently with University Communications about some of the highlights of his work with the foundation.