UW-Madison: Wisconsin Center for Education Products and Services launched

CONTACT: Brad Taylor, 608-278-8604, [email protected]

MADISON – To meet a growing demand to bring education research and development to the general public, friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison have established the Wisconsin Center for Education Products and Services (WCEPS).

Serving a parallel role to that of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the center will help license and market nonpatentable but often copyright-protected types of intellectual property created by faculty and staff at UW-Madison.

“Our vision with WCEPS is to support the UW-Madison research community and provide an effective way to protect as well as disseminate their educational research and ideas to K-12 education levels – similar to WARF’s work in the patentable arena,” says Julie Underwood, dean of the UW-Madison School of Education.

The center will partner with research organizations to protect nonpatentable educational products and services, such as testing instruments, and license those products and services to state educational agencies, school districts and teachers. WCEPS will then re-direct any proceeds to support further research and development at UW-Madison in the field of education.

WCEPS’ first partnership is to bring to the K-12 education community a series of products that will help teachers improve the learning of English Language Learners (ELL), which have been developed by researchers affiliated with the WIDA Consortium at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. A majority of ELL assessment tools currently address and will continue to address, underserved populations in the United States.

The center is also in discussions with other UW entities regarding products and services that will improve the quality of education in Wisconsin and beyond, including educational computer games and statistical processing. The center hopes to expand work in these areas in 2011.

A board of directors, chaired by Brad Taylor, will govern WCEPS. Taylor is a retired investment banker, author and UW-Madison alumnus. He currently serves on the board of visitors of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the board of Friends of UW Men’s Crew Inc., and has supported and funded a wide range of activities across UW-Madison.

“Education research and product development are long-standing strengths of UW-Madison, and WCEPS will fill an extraordinarily important role in making non-patentable ideas more widely available to the marketplace,” says Taylor. “I’m honored to chair the WCEPS board and excited to see the impact we can make in bringing the developments of UW-Madison researchers to the U.S. and internationally.”

Other members of the board include:

– Paul DeLuca, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW-Madison

– Michael Falk, general counsel for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

– Dave Florin, president of Hiebing

– Chad Margenau, owner/president of Triton Business Advisors LLC

– Thomas Romberg, professor emeritus at the UW-Madison School of Education and

– Ann Wallace, executive director of the UW-Madison Retirement Association.

Underwood and Adam Gamoran, director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, will serve as ex-officio members.

The board is currently searching for an executive director to lead the day-to-day operations of WCEPS.

The UW Foundation has provided the startup funds to cover WCEPS’ first two years of operation. The center will be located at University Research Park.