GE Healthcare ($GE) will invest nearly $33 million as part of a multi-faceted deal with the University of Wisconsin (UW) to boost collaboration on new imaging and diagnostics technology, and generate a robust stream of technology and patents.
The joint goal, according to the announcement, is to advance the field of personalized medicine, using imaging and diagnostics at a level where doctors could identify in advance if a cancer treatment will work in a given patient.
It's also smart business. The agreement forms an even tighter partnership to boost clinical advances, but GE gets to exploit the talent and resources at the university level. And the university, in turn, gains a well-defined outlet for its findings worthy of technology transfer. (GE Healthcare already employs about 6,500 people in Wisconsin, the deal announcement notes.)
Their collaboration isn't new. GE says it has worked with the University of Wisconsin for more than 30 years to develop new imaging equipment, as well as generating advances, such as new MRI protocols for vascular imaging. Over the last 11 years alone, their working arrangement generated a number of technology licensing deals, almost 200 invention discloses and over 80 filed U.S. patents, according to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).
GE's new deal with UW is specifically between GE, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and WARF. As part of the 10-year deal, GE will re-evaluate and commit its reach and support each year. Plans also call for providing up to $32.9 million over that period in a number of ways, including cash, diagnostic imaging equipment and the warm bodies to aid with the actual research. UW will place the new imaging research facility created by the GE investment in its Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR). The deal also calls for UW's radiology and medical physics departments to expand their work into the WIMR space.
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