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Last updated:

May 5, 1999

UW-RF Experts Database Available to Business

University of Wisconsin System faculty and staff experts who are available for research or consulting purposes to business, industry or other organizations are listed in a new searchable database.

The database, the UW System Directory of Expertise, includes profiles on more than 3,000 faculty and staff.

In western Wisconsin, some 300 faculty and staff experts are on-line from UW-River Falls, UW-Stout and UW-Eau Claire.

"We're delighted to be participating in the database," said UW-River Falls Chancellor Gary A. Thibodeau. "We often say that the University extends beyond our classroom walls. This is another example of how we are streamlining the process to make our expertise available to businesses and industries in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and western Wisconsin. We believe that it's important for us to share our expertise beyond the campus boundaries."

The database is a free resource for businesses both large and small. Businesses will find the directory useful for finding prospective collaborators, to leverage their existing research and development efforts, to keep up to date with basic science and academic research, to communicate directly with researchers who possess the expertise they need, and to develop business and strategic marketing plans.

At UW-RF, faculty and staff experts cover the full range of the University's programs including agriculture, education, business, the sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Coordinating the implementation of the database across the University of Wisconsin System were Ted Knous, associate dean for research and graduate studies at UW-Stout, and Mark Kinders, public affairs director at UW-River Falls. Kinders led the public launch of the database, sharing the information with thousands of business associations, chambers of commerce, manufacturers and others across Wisconsin who are seeking expert assistance.

According to Kinders, the database is managed by the Community of Science, which started as a consortium among research institutions and which was spun off as a private enterprise.

The database replaces a printed directory of UWS faculty experts that was launched nearly two decades ago. With the advent of electronic databases, Kinders said, the directory can be immediately refreshed by faculty and staff as their research interests expand, and it can be published electronically at a lesser cost than the printed version.

The database is supported by private corporations and foundations that are seeking continuous access to the database's more than 100,000 researchers nationwide. According to Kinders, subscribers include such local corporations as 3M and Kellogg.

As a result, the database is restricted in who may access it, and so searches of the database must be conducted by an industry liaison designated at each UW System campuses.

Businesses that would like to team up with a UW-RF OR UWS expert can have the database searched by contacting Kinders at 715/425-3771 or by calling Bill Campbell, UW-RF director of grants and research, at 715/425-3195.

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