Center for Innovation & Development

We offer our expertise and experience to help you get your idea to market.
In this Section

IMPROVE your idea

  • Get an objective assessment of the viability of your product or idea.
  • Getting input early helps you make the most of improvements or decide not to move forward. Either decision saves you time and money.
  • Rapidly assess the market viability of your idea.
  • If the idea has promise, we have a host of services and connections for you.


You must be able to communicate your idea to others. Most product ideas are better communicated with a model, prototype or digital design and graphics. Regardless of who makes your model, our materials and manufacturing experience will improve your product and make it more cost-effective to produce.

You Make It

After some training, you can gain access to the UW-Stout Digital Fabrication Lab, a lab where digital designs become real objects through the use of laser cutters, rapid prototyping machines, routers, plasma cutters, mills and other computer-driven machines.

We Make It

We can do the building for you for a quoted fee.

Conceptual Model Development

This is a non-functioning model used mainly to help you communicate your idea.

Functional Prototype Development

This is a prototype that performs the function. Often, several generations are required.



Our counselors utilize tools from GrowthWheel® to assess your current status in the commercialization process, then help you make decisions and take action to establish your business. The GrowthWheel® system walks you through the four key areas that every business needs to succeed:

  • Business Concept
  • Customer Relations
  • Operations
  • Organization

Connections to Wisconsin Manufacturers

Often, the best way to bring a product to market involves an existing manufacturer. UW-Stout's Manufacturing Outreach Center works with an average of 135 Wisconsin manufacturing companies each year, improving their operations with average annual impacts of $35 million. We know who to call for manufacturing.


When your business idea is ready, the CID can refer you to skilled marketing resources who will highlight the uniqueness and benefits of your product offerings for specific customers.

Technology Licensing

The CID works with WiSys Technology Foundation as a resource to provide intellectual property protection.


If your needs are outside our core skills, we will connect you with other skilled service providers. It is our firm belief that people working together achieve more.