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UWA local investment group would like to see the hometown research university commercialize its inventions, and now the Washington Research Foundation is handing over some funding to help make that happen.

The WRF today officially announced a $31.2 million contribution to the University of Washington — its largest gift ever — that is specifically directed at researchers working in clean energy, protein design, big data science and neuroengineering.

The six-year grant, given to four projects, will be used to hire faculty, bring on post-doc researchers and expand the infrastructure inside facilities at the UW. The departments receiving the funds will be able to ask for specific resources to help catalyze research and encourage the creation of spinout companies.

washingtonresearchfoundation“This is a watershed moment for the university and Washington Research Foundation,” UW President Michael Young said in a statement. ”To see investors in Washington supporting their flagship research university makes a strong statement about how important such local investment is. The four grant recipient groups include some of our most productive and creative faculty, and we are deeply grateful to the foundation for its vote of confidence in their work.”

Founded in 1981 as an independent, non-profit foundation, the WRF invests in the life sciences, information technology and physical sciences fields with a focus on supporting research and recruitment at Washington state institutions.

Here’s how the money will be dolled out:

Institute for Protein Design Innovation Fellows
$8 million over six years

Institute for Neuroengineering
$7.19 million over six years

Global Leadership in Data-Intensive Discovery
$9.27 million over six years

Excellence in Clean Energy Innovation
$6.74 million over six years

For more details on how exactly the money will be spent, head here.

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