/  January 28, 2015

The UW CoMotion Story

As one of the world’s preeminent universities, the UW’s impact is profound both globally and locally. UW is the top recipient in the nation among public universities for federal research dollars and second overall; it generates $12.5 billion in economic impact for our state and ranks among the top universities for technology startups.


Key to growing this success is our ability to deliver the tools and connections that the entire University community needs to accelerate the impact of their innovations. We need to connect differently not only with our students, but with the community, investors, inventors, and alumni – engaging them, removing obstacles, and expanding our reach. We want to grow UW programs, spaces, and resources to scale impactful innovation so we can expand the UW’s societal impact by developing and connecting to local and global innovation ecosystems. Such a strong, broad-based culture will benefit everyone. This new vision is why we have decided to broaden the mission and change the name of C4C to CoMotion.


Since we are now expanding beyond IP and startups to include supporting our region’s growing innovation ecosystem, we need a new name to better describe how we’ll get there. CoMotion evokes constant motion, collaborative momentum, and positive disruptive innovation.

CoMotion will collaboratively move innovations to impact by helping to create and promote entrepreneurial thinking, innovation mindsets, creative problem-solving, and experiential and team-based project learning throughout UW. This will be done through close partnerships with units on campus, leadership, and the community. We want to connect innovation communities within and beyond the University to help create successful impact, inventions, startups, and innovation leaders from UW, regardless of field of endeavor. We want to work well beyond technology silos and economic models to impact that scales across the community and leverages the amazing cross-discipline expertise that resides at UW.

On January 21, 2015 we hosted a dynamic and diverse group of panelists – leaders from inside and outside of UW, who are key players in our innovation ecosystem – to lead an engaging discussion on innovation across the Puget Sound region and how the UW is central to its continued growth and success.

Photo by Kathy Sauber

Watch a short clip of the video or view the full panel discussion to hear what these leaders from Amazon, Madrona Venture Group, Microsoft, Starbucks, Techstars, and the UW had to say.

Creative solutions are the need of the hour – from environmental and energy challenges, to healthcare and disease, living conditions, housing and transportation. Most students today will tell you they want to change the world, to find meaning in what they do and stay engaged. UW and CoMotion are evolving together to meet this need, with innovation and impact as pillars of our new shared vision. It is a focus on connecting the dots between the best the UW has, and will have, and projecting the positive impact into the community and the world.