Foundation Gives $31.2M to Support UW Entrepreneurial Researchers

Xconomy Seattle — 

The University of Washington today announced a $31.2 million gift from the Washington Research Foundation to support interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial researchers working on protein design, data science, clean energy, and neuroengineering.

Xconomy first reported on the funding, which represents a new giving strategy for the foundation, in March.

A few details were announced today that were still being finalized when we wrote about the grant.

The total gift size will be $31.2 million over six years. We had reported plans for a gift of upwards of $30 million for five years. The funding is flexible relative to federal research grants, which are often tied to specific projects and can’t be used to hire top-notch faculty opportunistically. The Washington Research Foundation money also has a specific focus on supporting the transfer of promising academic research into new companies or medical treatments that can benefit society at large.

That funding will be distributed to four programs, supporting new hires—both faculty and postdoctoral research fellows—and improved facilities.

—The eSciences Institute, acting as an umbrella for data-driven discovery efforts across the UW, will receive $9.27 million.

—The Institute for Protein Design is in line for $8 million.

—The Institute for Neuroengineering will be established in part with funding of $7.19 million from this gift.

—The new Clean Energy Institute is slated to receive $6.74 million.