UW Parkside Professors’ Projects Approved for Funding
SOMERS – UW-Parkside faculty members Dr. Francis Mann, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. David Higgs, associate professor of biological sciences, had their research proposals selected for funding under the 2020-21 WiSys Ignite Grant Program for Applied Research. Dr. Mann’s project titled “Generation of Carotenoids for Animal Feed and Pigmentation” was awarded $49,676 (Dr. Natalia Taft, UW-Parkside associate professor of biological sciences, is a co-principal investigator on the project). Dr. Higgs’ project titled “Genetic Analysis of Nitro Algae: A New Algal Strain with Improved Biomass Yield on Reduced Nitrogen” received $39,658 respectively.
All proposals were reviewed and rated by representatives from the business community, private industry, UW System Office of Academic Programs and Educational Innovation, and WiSys. In addition to the technical merit, quality of the research design, and likelihood of successful completion, a major criterion for selection was the potential impact of the project on Wisconsin's economy.
Dr. Mann’s project proposes mutually compatible alternatives for new products for the agriculture industry, which is important for Wisconsin. Dr. Higg’s project proposes an innovative way of allowing plants and algae to grow in low-nitrogen environments. The underlying problems of high input nitrogen costs for crops and nitrogen runoff are significant and substantial issues in modern agriculture and reduction of environmental pollutants.
The grant period runs from July 2020 through August 2021. Final reports are due in September 2021. The University of Wisconsin System has partnered with WiSys to monitor the project progress and milestone achievements.
WiSys was established in 2000 and is an independent, nonprofit supporting organization for the UW System. As the official designated technology transfer office for the UW System Comprehensive Campuses, WiSys advances scientific research throughout the state by patenting technologies developed out of the universities and licensing these inventions to companies capable of developing them to benefit Wisconsin and beyond. The strong partnership between WiSys and the UW System helps the UW campuses fulfill their roles as twenty-first century leaders in research, discovery and innovation.
About UW System
The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 170,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. More than 80 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy. wisconsin.edu
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