Business and Industry

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The Discovery Center leverages the exceptional creativity and technical skills of UW-Stout faculty, staff and students to develop innovative solutions for real-world problems. Collaborative projects challenge students to apply classroom knowledge and problem-solving skills through interaction with other students, faculty and industry. Faculty and students work individually or in teams to develop an understanding of the problem, determine and weigh potential solutions and execute implementation of the selected solution.

The Discovery Center is a key entry point for industry to engage in partnerships with UW-Stout. These partnerships range from comprehensive strategic collaborations that engage at multiple levels in technology development and deployment, talent management and sponsored research to targeted collaborations that address a specific challenge. The Discovery Center also facilitates appropriate agreements with industry to protect intellectual property, to advance Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs, and to advance UW-Stout technologies from development through licensing.

Industry partners are encouraged to contact the Discovery Center for more information on strategic partnerships or for an assessment of their project ideas. The Discovery Center is designed around self-sufficiency and fees for services are determined based on the type and extent of the services required for the project. Funding for certain collaborative projects may be obtained from grant funding or other sources. UW-Stout’s Research Services, housed within the Discovery Center, is responsible for processing UW-Stout contracts and agreements and is a resource for policies governing Discovery Center and UW-Stout research activities, including UW-Stout’s patent policy.

Launching a Collaborative Project with the Discovery Center
Thank you for your interest in working on a collaborative project with UW-Stout’s Discovery Center.  The Discovery Center looks for ways to efficiently match your business challenge with UW-Stout’s applied research interests. We have developed a number of templates to assist in expediting project development and execution, employing the following processes:

Protecting Confidential and Proprietary Information

Your company and our institution have both worked hard to develop and refine specific skills, expertise and other valuable information required to execute a project. It is important that any relevant proprietary information of our partners is protected accordingly prior to project development. It is important that proprietary information is identified since UW-Stout and the Discovery Center have an interest in publishing project outcomes to advance the mission of the institution and scholarly advancement of faculty, students and staff.

Defining the Scope of Work and Determining Project Cost

It is important to state that the results of UW-Stout and Discovery Center basic and applied research activities cannot be guaranteed. However, in order to ensure optimal outcomes, Discovery Center staff works with your company and relevant UW-Stout faculty and staff to determine and define scope of work, deliverables and timelines. Most of our applied research projects are delivered on a cost-reimbursement or fee-for-service basis. Terms, conditions and budgets are developed and mutually agreed upon prior to beginning any project work. As an agency of the state of Wisconsin, governed by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin system, the Discovery Center conforms to the requirements of federal and state law and UW System policy.

Determining Ownership of Intellectual Property

The scopes of works of Discovery Center projects vary greatly, and some projects result in the development of novel products and processes. Ownership of intellectual property resulting from UW-Stout's Discovery Center projects is managed by the Discovery Center and appropriate agreements are negotiated with the company.


Submit a Project Idea

If you have an idea for a project you would like to help launch, please complete the online form below. If you are interested in working with the Discovery Center on existing or future projects, please submit your resume/CV and areas of interest as an email attachment to the Director at