Industry-Sponsored Research Week

Expanding online network brings university education to corporate employees


By David Schwartz
Published: August 4th, 2020

A detailed article on the InStride approach to online employer education, and its impact on other areas of industry engagement, appears in the July issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor For subscription information, click here.

The most successful programs seeking to link academia and industry focus on meeting the needs of both partners equally, and InStride, a growing online education network, is looking to join that “club” by matching the educational needs of the companies and their employees with the virtual educational services of the universities. And in a mere 18 months, they seem to be off to a good start.

The “public benefit” company includes in its membership R1 institutions like Arizona State University (ASU), Harvard Business School Online, The City University of New York (CUNY), the University of Washington Continuum College, and its most recent partner UW-Madison, as well as other institutions around the world. Its industry roster includes Aramark, Discount Tire, InfoSys, and more than 20 others. InStride seeks to develop customized employee education programs “that deliver business ROI and social impact.” 

Universities partnering with InStride hope not only to boost enrollment in online programs, but also open up an avenue for other forms of engagement with the participating companies.

“We’ve got a growing portfolio of online masters’ degrees and certification, and now we’re fully online with a graduate degree in personal finance — and we intend to grow,” shares UW-Madison’s vice chancellor for university relations Charles Hoslet. “The key here is to be able to market directly to prospective students, as well as to our employer partners, and that’s where InStride really makes a big difference through their network’s ability to market to a broader pool through national- and global-scale employers. That, coupled with the fact that they’ve taken a very strategic approach with who they partner with in terms of all the universities and companies they work with, made it a good fit for us.”

InStride, explains CEO Vivek Sharma, is a collaboration between ASU and the Rise Fund, a global impact fund led by TPG Growth, “committed to achieving social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.” The inspiration for the company, he says, was the successful partnership between ASU and Starbucks, in which the company’s employees are offered free tuition at the university.

“The logic is very simple,” says Sharma. “If you look at what corporate America does, corporate sponsored training programs and tuition assistance spend as much as $28 billion a year. As we started looking at what gave CEOs satisfaction, talent attraction was near the top. But we found widespread dissatisfaction with these programs in actual return, and that’s how InStride was formed.”

What does Hoslet hope to gain from the partnership? “We see the online space as an important growth area — not just from revenue, but increasingly students, particularly returning ones, can’t come and spend a couple of years on campus,” he explains. “They have the ability to participate now through a fully online degree program. So, our goal is to meet what we see as a growing need among students of all [types].”

Hoslet also sees these contacts as presenting the opportunity for additional collaboration. “As we open the door for these online programs, it also opens the door to having conversations about other resources and expertise our university has that a company may be able to take advantage of,” he says. “For example, they may say they’re also interested in recruiting talent.”

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Critical Research Compliance Update for Universities: Focus on the Thousand Talents Program and Export Control


By David Schwartz
Published: August 4th, 2020

American universities and their faculty are prime targets for China’s Thousand Talents program — and for DOJ enforcement efforts. The ongoing stream of DOJ cases against professors who failed to comply with disclosure requirements – and the continuing focus on threats associated with China’s Thousand Talents Plan — make painfully clear the importance of having an airtight research compliance program in place. That imperative got a bit trickier recently when the DOJ updated the guidance document used to evaluate the effectiveness of university compliance programs.

To help you ensure compliance and avoid the potentially dire consequence of DOJ investigations, Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division has teamed up with expert attorneys from the law firm Baker Donelson to present a vital CLE-eligible distance learning program. Join us on August 27th for Critical Research Compliance Update for Universities: Focus on the Thousand Talents Program and Export Control.

For complete program and faculty details or to register, click here.

Also coming soon:

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Samsung doubles its spending on university research partnerships


By David Schwartz
Published: August 4th, 2020

Samsung Electronics is committing at least 100 billion won ($83M USD) this year to support joint semiconductor and display research in university partnerships – a doubling of last year’s spending. continue reading »

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UT-Austin leads new consortium focused on pandemic readiness and response


By David Schwartz
Published: August 4th, 2020

A collaboration involving more than 50 organizations in academia, industry, and the public sector has formed the Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium (TEXGHS). continue reading »

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The TTO’s Pandemic Response Toolkit


By David Schwartz
Published: August 4th, 2020

Operating a tech transfer office in the midst of a pandemic was not in any TTO’s playbook.  That’s why we have put together a collection of distance learning programs specifically to discuss how the pandemic is impacting TTO operations, workflow and staffing needs — and how to create and implement plans and strategies for maintaining your operations effectively during the severe business interruptions now affecting the entire world.

The TTO’s Pandemic Response Toolkit features a panel of experienced tech transfer leaders, who share the strategies they’re using to maintain momentum on their commercialization efforts despite unprecedented challenges associated with the pandemic. The three programs included in the collection are:

Each program comes in three formats — on-demand video, transcript, and DVD — including all original PowerPoint slide decks. The programs can be shared without limitation among your staff, faculty, administrative and student populations. For complete details or to order, click here.

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Abilene Christian U, with $21 million from Natura Resources, to build research reactor as part of consortium


By David Schwartz
Published: August 4th, 2020

Natura Resources LLC has granted Abilene Christian University (ACU) $21.5 million over the next three years as part of a $30.5 million effort to design and license a research reactor in collaboration with three other major universities. The deal represents the largest sponsored research agreement in the university’s history. continue reading »

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U Tokyo anchors new quantum consortium with IBM and other big tech players


By David Schwartz
Published: August 4th, 2020

The University of Tokyo has become the anchor of the newly launched Quantum Innovation Initiative Consortium, with IBM and its quantum computers as a major partner. The research partnership will involve major Japanese tech companies and is designed to accelerate advances in quantum computing while deepening research ties between the U.S. and Japan. continue reading »

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UIDPConnect 2020 features 50+ speakers and nine federal program leaders


By David Schwartz
Published: August 4th, 2020

Where else can you connect with your colleagues and take advantage of the latest insight from more than 50 thought leaders speaking to today’s challenges? Only at UIDPConnect 2020, intentionally designed to advance connections on the university-industry partnership continuum. The virtual event will take place over five days, from September 21-25, 2020.

The many speakers and sessions will include updates from nine federal program officers:

  • Clara Asmail, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Technology Transitions, Department of Energy
  • Chris Austin, Director, NIH-NCATS
  • Prakash Balan, Program Director, NSF- Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program (IUCRC)
  • David B. Berkowitz, Division Director, NSF-Chemistry
  • Chris Fall, Director, Office of Science, Department of Energy
  • Tim Gallaudet, Deputy Administrator, NOAA
  • Erwin Gianchandani, Deputy Assistant Director, NSF
  • Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, USPTO
  • Doug Maughan, Office Head, NSF’s Convergence Accelerator Programs

For complete details and to register, click here

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Virtual career conference offers new lessons for engaging students, industry


By David Schwartz
Published: July 28th, 2020

A detailed article on Seton Hall’s virtual career conference appears in the July issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor. For subscription information, click here.

This is not your predecessor’s university-industry career conference, but it may be a big part of the future — even after COVID-19 is just a bad memory. On October 16th — during Cyber Security Month — Seton Hall University will be presenting a virtual cyber security conference to help New Jersey university students learn about this growing field, and to also help connect them with potential employers.

“I was talking with colleagues in a bootcamp/certificate program we run for undergraduates in the summer,” recalls Susan A. Scherreik-Hynes, MBA, director of the Stillman School of Business Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Seton Hall. “We discussed the fact that the number of jobs in cyber is growing hugely, but that there are not enough people who are schooled in it to fill them.” Not only is there great demand for graduates, she notes, but the average starting salary is around $92,000. “And we know it will become a bigger issue,” she says.

From a university’s point of view, Scherreik-Hynes continues, “isn’t it fantastic to tell our students about a growing field, and from the point of view of corporations, isn’t it great to get everyone together for the first time to talk about this, and to put them in touch with the universities’ potential new source of employees?”

The October event was not originally planned as a virtual conference, but it became one due to COVID. “We had been planning for several months for it to be held in person,” says Scherreik-Hynes. “But when social distancing was put into effect, we closed our doors and went to an online format. There was no question we’d continue with the conference and hold it online.”

Seton Hall was able to obtain sponsorship from New Jersey’s largest utility, PSEG. “We’re also partnering with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority,” she adds. Attendance will be free, “and you will not have to leave your home or your dorm.”

Despite — or perhaps because of — the fact that it will not be in person, the conference will feature a number of different components that will allow students and corporations to interface. “We plan to run the event from 9:00 a.m. to about 3:00 p.m.,” says Scherreik-Hynes. “We’ll hold six virtual workshops with two tracks, so two each will run simultaneously in the three sessions.”

In each session, one workshop will be “for industry,” the other “for academia.” However, participants will be able to attend one or the other — or both. “It will be very easy to switch in between the two on livestream, and the sessions will also be recorded,” she explains.

The conference organizers will also use an event planning app that enables meet-up rooms for networking. “They will be available for months after the event,” says Scherreik-Hynes. “We want students and corporations to meet each other and to start offering them the ability to stay in touch.”

What’s more, participants will be receiving a listing of all attendees, and people within the conference can contact each other and connect on LinkedIn. Presenters will be able to post their presentations through a virtual format.

“We will have the recorded livestream available for at least six months,” says Scherreik-Hynes. “We will also leave up the community board, so employers and students can continue to connect. Also, we will involve our university career centers, so they, too, can reach out and communicate. We really just need to have channels to put students and companies together to connect with each other. We’re trying to connect the dots to all resources — state government, universities, and companies.”

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Qualigen-sponsored research on potential ‘holy grail’ cancer therapy at U of Louisville spawns license agreement


By David Schwartz
Published: July 28th, 2020

A University of Louisville-born invention designed to treat cancer by targeting the RAS protein has been licensed by California-based Qualigen Therapeutics Inc., which has previously sponsored research on the therapy. Qualigen plans to fund continued development at UofL and ultimately ready the new treatment for market. continue reading »

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Encore event: Data Licensing and Privacy Protection Workshop for University TTOs


By David Schwartz
Published: July 28th, 2020

Data is fast becoming one of the hottest topics in university licensing — particularly with AI-related innovations and other research projects that rely on huge data sets. Universities — especially those with affiliated health systems — are putting skin in the game, but there are big issues with the legalities of using even blinded clinical data, images, and health records.

With a myriad of laws relating to consent and privacy to be navigated, as well as issues related to the rights of the licensee, how royalties are distributed, and more, Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division recently hosted two data licensing and privacy experts to lead this  webinar: Data Licensing and Privacy Protection Workshop for University TTOs.

Based on a high level of continuing interest and the high marks received from attendees of the original live program, we’re hosting an encore presentation of the entire session, including all PowerPoints, both in a repeat airing on August 26th and in the on-demand video you’ll receive upon registration. It’s an outstanding opportunity to share the program with your entire staff for at-home learning.

For complete program and faculty details or to register, click here.

Also coming soon:

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Columbia partnering with Kedrion Biopharma to develop new IgG therapy for COVID-19


By David Schwartz
Published: July 28th, 2020

Italian biopharma company Kedrion Biopharma, a major player in plasma-derived therapies, has signed a research partnership with Columbia University Irving Medical Center to develop and test a new IgG therapy for COVID-19. The therapy is being co-developed by Kedrion and Kamada Ltd, an Israeli company that also specializes in plasma derived products.

The agreement calls for Kedrion to supply Columbia with convalescent plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, which will be used to manufacturing IgG therapy. Columbia University will test the convalescent plasma against viral proteins to check the neutralizing power of the hyperimmune Immunoglobins.

Dr. Steven Spitalnik, medical director of the Clinical Laboratories at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, said the evaluation should be completed by early August, and human clinical trials may be initiated pending FDA authorization.

“We hope to be able to evaluate the first assays in a week or two,” Spitalnik reports. “Then during this third quarter we hope to evaluate the IgG therapy that could be used for clinical studies in patients and volunteers.” He hopes the therapy can be given to frontline healthcare workers at risk for COVID-19 at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and elsewhere.

Kedrion CEO Paolo Marcucci said he welcomed the partnership. “We are proud to work with Columbia on a project that could ultimately help patients in need and perhaps even help frontline medical workers at Columbia itself. That would be wonderful,” he said.

Source: Cision

U.S. Export Controls Compliance Practices Benchmarks for Higher Education, 2020 Edition allows you to compare your own compliance practices and procedures with peers – and identify areas for improvement. Click here for details.

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