Year in Review: Our Top Headlines of 2022

As the year comes to a close, the Office of Business Engagement is taking a moment to reflect on 2022—a year of connection, growth and partnership. Here are our top headlines for the year, which were all made possible thanks to our partners.

Three images from the 2022 visits between Chancellor Mnookin, OBE staff and UW–Madison industry partners.
Images 2022 visits with Chancellor Mnookin, OBE staff and UW–Madison industry partners.

Chancellor Mnookin, OBE staff on the move

In August, UW–Madison welcomed Jennifer L. Mnookin as the university’s 30th leader. In her first months, Chancellor Mnookin set out to build relationships across Wisconsin, traveling to every region to meet key partners. She brought incredible energy and leadership as she got to know Wisconsin, UW–Madison, and our industry colleagues.

In addition to the Chancellor’s travels, the team at the Office of Business Engagement (OBE) was also busy facilitating industry-university links both on and off campus. As OBE Managing Director John Garnetti said, “Building these relationships with corporate partners – being able to understand their needs and establish campus connections – is fundamental to the work we do…”

We look forward to continuing existing engagements and developing all-new ones in 2023!

Connect with UW–Madison

We’re so excited to continue our work with you in 2023! Start your planning here:

Strategic investments strengthen alliances

Throughout the year, the university’s corporate and foundational partners made significant philanthropic and strategic investments, enhancing academic experience for students, engaging with world-class faculty, elevating innovation, and creating enduring alliances.

Highlights include Kemper Foundation’s long-term pledge to support diversity; Promega’s continued support and celebration of science; PPG making a splash at the South Madison Partnership through its Colorful Communities program; the inaugural Jake Leinenkugel Diversity in Brewing award; and the Odyssey project continuing its growth and advancement with support from American Family Insurance and Illumina.

Industry-university partnerships lead to innovation

Every year, UW–Madison works with industry to advance innovation, support students, and grow businesses. These partnerships create opportunities, solve problems, and build value for Wisconsin and beyond. This year was no exception, with many amazing examples of innovation and growth. Some of our favorite stories include:

Unique connections advance sustainability

In addition to innovation and industry developments, we’ve worked with businesses to advance sustainability goals and initiatives. This year, UW–Madison and Alliant Energy collaborated on solar and agricultural research, and an ultra-efficient carbon capture technology devised by a UW–Madison team earned a top 60 spot in the global XPRIZE challenge. UW–Madison researchers developed a unique project to explore the effectiveness of goat grazing on the American Family Insurance campus in Madison, and a team also worked on how to recycle masks.

OBE has been busy behind the scenes working with partners like U.S. Venture, Kohler, Trane Technologies and Thermo King to explore exciting new opportunities in this hugely important area. OBE also partnered with UW–Madison’s Energy Analysis and Policy Program (EAP) during a trip to Milwaukee. The trip included students and faculty from EAP, with visits to Johnson Controls, Artisan Partners, and the City of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office.

IEP designation marks critical role as an industry & community connector, highlights future focus

A capstone moment of 2022 was the announcement that the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities designated the UW–Madison as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University. The designation is an acknowledgement of the university’s significant, sustainable, and campus-wide commitment to economic engagement—and our future focus on expanding this work.

Thank you for a fulfilling year; we look forward to more great stories of connection and collaboration in 2023!