University of Wisconsin–Madison


What is D2P?

A D2P instructor
John Printen presents a drug assay project developed by Dr. Gail Robertson, a UW-Madison professor of neuroscience, to a group of fellow entrepreneurs at a Discovery to Product (D2P) workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sept. 30, 2014. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

Created through a partnership between UW–Madison and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), Discovery to Product (D2P) is a unit within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. D2P serves as a resource hub to connect Madison area innovators with campus and community resources, and it provides direct programming to help campus-based innovators move their ideas from the university to the world.

Meet our team.


As a campus-based commercialization program, D2P provides essential resources to early stage projects conceived by UW faculty, staff, or students. D2P provides resources such as mentorship opportunities, linkages and connections to other resources, potential grant funding, early stage idea validation, and a fully encompassing education around what it means to be a lean startup. These resources are meant to foster innovation on the UW campus and are geared to spark creativity and commercialization efforts in the startup community.

D2P’s efforts have helped form over 17 startup companies with even more innovations currently on track for startup. The core innovations of these projects have ranged from cell phone apps to stem cells, and the project leads have included undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, staff, and faculty researchers.


The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s research preeminence is demonstrated by a ranking among the top six universities nationwide for federal research funding for nearly three decades.

WARF was the world’s first licensing agency at a public university when it was established in 1925. It has a long and distinguished record of successfully moving technology to market based on patenting and licensing innovations from the university, including:

  •  Hundreds of active commercial licenses for UW–Madison innovations.
  •  More than 50 startups have attracted more than $800 million in investment capital over the last decade alone.
  •  More than $1 billion in grant support for UW–Madison from technology commercialization.
  •  Full-service patenting and licensing shop for innovators at UW–Madison.

At University Research Park, established in 1984, about 70 percent of the companies in the park are linked in some way to UW–Madison. More than 100 companies in 32 buildings employ between 3,500 and 4,000 people, with an estimated annual payroll of almost $250 million. In 2006, the park, directly and indirectly, contributed an estimated $680 million to Wisconsin’s economy.

UW–Madison seeks to improve its long and successful record of technology transfer and continue to leverage its intellectual resources in the interest of economic development. The advent of D2P promises to help keep Wisconsin on the cutting edge of technology transfer by sustaining the flow of ideas to market.