The Innovation Imperative

The impact of innovation at the UW

Throughout more than 150 years of history, the UW has demonstrated an extraordinary track record of inventions and discoveries with impact across the globe. Consistently ranked the most innovative public university in the world, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

AstraZeneca will pay up to $1.1B to acquire Icosavax, a Univ. of Washington biotech spinout

Seattle-based Icosavax, a spinout from the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design, will be acquired by biotech giant AstraZeneca for up to $1.1 billion.

UW Earns Historic National Entrepreneurship Ranking

A dedication to innovation at all levels earned the University of Washington a historic national ranking for entrepreneurship by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine.

‘Forever chemicals’ are eternal no more thanks to a pollution destroying device from Tacoma startup

UW spinoff Aquagga and a handful of others are slashing the lifespan of forever chemicals.

Startup Tenpoint Lands $70M to Bring Vision-Restoring Cell Therapy to the Eye

The regenerative medicine startup is developing cell therapies it hopes will restore vision capability for patients with degenerative eye disorders.

UW gets $10M grant for semiconductor workforce development and research

The University of Washington is getting a funding boost for semiconductor workforce development and research, thanks to a $10 million grant funded by the CHIPS and Science Act.

Wavely Diagnostics raises $1.35M for its tech to detect ear infections with a smartphone

The UW spinout's diagnostic app uses acoustic signals to detect signs of an ear infection via a paper funnel placed at the opening of the ear canal.

Startups and spinoffs

Every UW college and school has launched startups and created spinoffs. Since 1991, UW has spun out 271 companies. These spinoffs have raised over $8.6 billion in funding with $5.2 billion secured over the past five years alone.

Startup portfolio

Archived photograph of a Medic One ambulance and EMTs

26 innovations that changed the world

Explore a selection of innovations developed wholly or in part at the University of Washington. We invite you to share in the UW’s rich history through these fundamental and groundbreaking innovations.

Learn more

Innovation happens everywhere at the UW

Getting started: Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, investor, or other community member, these Frequently Asked Questions will guide you in the right direction.


“Insights I developed at UW are what carried me forward towards running my own businesses.”
– Keisha Credit, Master of Science in Entrepreneurship ’18

Keisha Forbes

The innovation ecosystem

The UW Innovation Imperative empowers students and researchers to learn, discover and build solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. It encourages innovation by providing the space and opportunity for people from all backgrounds — from the humanities to the sciences, the poetic and the pragmatic — to connect, imagine and discover.

UW student Ewurama Karikari helps fellow students

Learn the skills

The UW offers a wide variety of educational and learning opportunities to build students’ skills in innovation and entrepreneurship.

University of Washington Foundation Board (UWFB) members attending the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) deep dive at the CoMotion's Makerspace in Fluke Hall

Get hands-on experience

Innovation happens in every corner of the UW — and there’s no better way to expand your skill set than to participate in a hands-on kind of way.

Students learn in their classrooms on UW Bothell campus in October 2019.

Bring ideas to life

A strong community is critical for entrepreneurs to bring new ideas to life. Important milestones along the journey include mentorship, lessons from industry leaders and alumni, and pursuing funding opportunities.

Nueroscience Hackathon

Build your network

Join us for events that will open your eyes, push your boundaries, and grow your network. Some are open to the public.