Jeanine Burmania, the Senior Director of Intellectual Property and Licensing at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), is Lisa’s guest today on Tech Transfer IP. Jeanine has been with WARF for over 17 years and graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Science and Biomedical Engineering.
Listen, as Jeanine shares the history of WARF and how an enterprising university scientist established it in need of an innovative solution. It was conceived as an independent non-profit corporation run by alumni trustees to manage the University’s patented technologies and invest the revenue to support future university research. Today it provides an annual grant to the University of Wisconsin Madison that in 2021 will be over 88 million dollars.
Jeanine discusses WARF Therapeutics, a translational research path for validated targets and novel drug candidates developed on the UW-Madison campus and the Morgridge Institute for Research and what they hope to accomplish. She also speaks about WARF Ventures, an internal venture capital fund dedicated to developing technologies rooted at UW-Madison. She talks about how they decide which early-stage startups to fund.
Jeanine shares how her office is structured, how many invention disclosures, patent filings, revenue-generating agreements, and royalty income her office has had in the last year. She believes that the most important thing in managing innovations to have the greatest opportunity for success is understanding if there is a need for the technology and how unique your solution is or how to make your solution the most attractive.
Jeanine discusses her office’s biggest success stories and their two biggest challenges, and the programs that WARF has to assist women and other traditionally under-represented inventors and entrepreneurs. Jeanine says that if she had three wishes for her office, they would be; success in their WARF Therapeutics program, diversify their revenue stream, and improve the commercialization success of their licensed technologies.
In This Episode:
- [02:21] Welcome to the show, Jeanine!
- [01:40] Jeanine shares her journey to Tech Transfer.
- [03:37] Jeanine discusses why WARF was established and what it does.
- [06:40] Can you tell us about the WARF Accelerator, how it originated, and how many companies have gone through it?
- [09:18] Listen as Jeanine speaks about WARF Therapeutics and what it hopes to accomplish.
- [11:44] Jeanine talks about WARF Ventures and how it decides which early-stage startups to fund.
- [14:21] Can you tell us about the WARF Innovation Awards program?
- [16:18] Jeanine shares some examples of WARF’s programs for the community and how they logistically conduct them.
- [18:43] Jeanine discusses how her office is structured.
- [21:21] Jeanine says they are all positioned together as a technology commercialization team to help support the commercialization of UW technology.
- [23:41] Jeanine talks about how many invention disclosures, patent filings, revenue generation agreements, and royalty income her office had last year.
- [25:00] Understanding if you need the technology and how unique your solutions are or how to make your solution more attractive is what Jeanine believes is most important in managing innovations to have the greatest opportunity for success.
- [25:59] Can you give us some additional examples of the relationships your office has with corporate partners?
- [27:57] Jeanine talks about the role of philanthropic organizations at WARF.
- [28:51] Jeanine shares some of the biggest success stories WARF has had in terms of successful technologies and startups.
- [31:22] Finding licensees for their technologies and maintaining a strong disclosure pipeline are two of her office’s biggest challenges.
- [33:13] Does WARF have any programs to help encourage and assist women and other traditionally under-represented inventors and entrepreneurs?
- [35:28] Jeanine shares what value she believes organizations like AUTM and LES add.
- [36:40] Jeanine thinks credentialing depends on the stage of your career; they don’t require it.
- [37:22] Success from their WARF Therapeutics program, diversify their revenue stream, and improving the commercialization success of their licensed technology are the three things Jeanine would wish for her office.
- [39:53] Thank you for being on the show!