Industry-Sponsored Research Week
University-Industry Engagement Advisor

Survey of Sponsored Research Agreements between the Private Sector and Higher Education


By David Schwartz
Published: December 18th, 2018

The Survey of Sponsored Research Agreements between the Private Sector and Higher Education includes 150 pages of key data and trends based on extensive survey results from major research universities and their agreements with private sector entities.

This one-of-a-kind resource provides a rich set of benchmarks and data to compare against your own sponsored research activity. It’s jam-packed with over 180 easy-to-scan charts and figures displaying critical data you can’t find in any other publication. The report provides an in-depth look into key data so you can compare your practices and see how you stack up against other organizations — and use the data to point you to areas for improvement.

For complete details, CLICK HERE >>

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

Algoma University launches new research and innovation hub for industry collaboration


By David Schwartz
Published: December 18th, 2018

Ontario’s Algoma University announced the launch of its Experiential Learning Hub last week, designed to facilitate collaborative research among students, faculty and employers. continue reading »

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

Registration for UIDP28 is now OPEN: Catalyzing Innovation Through Partnerships: Highlighting the Internal and External Players that Enable U-I Collaboration


By David Schwartz
Published: December 18th, 2018

UIDP28, UIPD’s semi-annual conference, will be held April 1-4, 2019 in Raleigh, NC, and is being hosted by NC State University in partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill and RTI International.

The UIDP28 program includes workshops, short talks, plenary talks, interactive breakout sessions, and extensive networking time to maximize the value of participation. With an emphasis on strategic and tactical issues affecting academic-corporate engagement, the UIDP28 program will provide effective approaches for helping you do your day job better. You’ll hear from experts on university-industry partnerships in the Research Triangle region and learn how university-industry-government relationships are shaping the future on a global scale.  

 For more details and to register, CLICK HERE.

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

MIT report recommends against cutting research ties with Saudi Arabia


By David Schwartz
Published: December 11th, 2018

An MIT review of the school’s ties to Saudi Arabia has concluded that it should not break with the kingdom following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

MIT has no “compelling case” to cut ties with Saudi Arabia in the wake of the killing, which has drawn international outrage, but it is unlikely to pursue more work in the kingdom, according a to a report released by the school last week.

University President L. Rafael Reif asked Associate Provost Lester in October to conduct a reassessment of MIT’s engagements with Saudi Arabia following the murder. MIT is one of many U.S. universities that accept funding from the Saudi government and industry, but it has stood out for its close relationship with the country’s national oil company and other government-owned institutions.

Lester criticized Saudi Arabia’s role in the killing, along with its “repressive policies” in other areas, but he said none of the institutions MIT works with had any role in Khashoggi’s death. Cutting ties would curb important research, he said, but would have little or no impact on the Saudi regime’s policies or practices.

“These organizations are supporting important research and activities at MIT on terms that honor our principles and comply with our policies,” he said in the report. “They are also providing critical resources to support the education of outstanding Saudi students and women scientists and engineers, who will surely be in the vanguard of social change in that country.”

Lester added, however, that the killing will likely scuttle any expansion of the school’s work in Saudi Arabia, which some at MIT felt could help steer the kingdom toward more progressive policies. “The Khashoggi murder has deflated many of those hopes,” Lester wrote.

The report also revealed what Lester called a “disturbing” connection between the Khashoggi murder and a campus visit made by Prince Mohammed bin Salman in March, when his entourage included Maher Mutreb, who was later identified by the U.S. government as one of 17 Saudis who organized and carried out the killing. “This individual had engaged with members of the MIT community at that time — an unwelcome and unsettling intrusion into our space, even though evident only in retrospect,” Lester wrote.

The report was based on input from students, faculty and alumni, along with outside experts on Saudi Arabia. It now goes to President Reif, who will make a final decision on whether to maintain ties to the kingdom.

Despite the recommendation, Lester noted that individual researchers who want to back out of projects with the kingdom can do so, and the school will help arrange it without disrupting the work.

The report didn’t detail how much MIT receives from Saudi sources, but it said 52% has covered “sponsored research” over the last three years. Research deals have primarily involved state-owned institutions like oil giant Saudi Aramco and SABIC, a national chemical company, as well as the research center King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST). Another 44% of the Saudi support received by the school came in the form of philanthropic giving. 

Several other schools also defended their work with the country, including the University of California, Berkeley, which has a $6 million contract to develop nanomaterials that can be used to support renewable energy.

In an interview with the MIT student newspaper The Tech, Lester said: “We’ve had for many years — decades even — collaborations with good people in Saudi Arabia who are trying to do good things. … What this report says is that we should not walk away from these people despite the actions of people in their government.”

He pointed out the positive contributions of both the research sponsorships and the philanthropic gifts. Private and corporate gifts from Saudi sources have supported work to alleviate poverty, make food and water more securely available, educate marginalized populations, and improve public health. Gifts have also has also allowed MIT to grow the Ibn Khaldun Fellowship Program for Saudi Arabian Women. The program has been supported by gifts from Saudi Aramco and KACST.

 “The argument for being open to continued engagement is based on a weighing of benefits and costs and risks,” Lester told MIT News. “The benefits are to MIT, to our faculty, to our students, and also potentially to Saudi society and even the global community — for example, a number of the research projects MIT is conducting with Saudi support are related to water and energy, with the ultimate goal of protecting the environment.”

Still, some on campus are urging MIT to cut its ties with the Saudis. A letter signed by more than 20 political science graduate students addressed to President Reif stated: “We recognize that the funding MIT receives from Saudi Arabia has been channeled towards serious and noble research projects here at MIT. We understand that if MIT were to speak out against human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, there may be financial retaliation. However, a renowned institution like MIT must not be threatened into silence.”

Sources: The Tech, U.S. News & World Report and MIT News

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

TOMORROW: Preventing Tax Compliance Nightmares in University Tech Transfer and Industry-Sponsored Research


By David Schwartz
Published: December 11th, 2018

Commercialization activity being managed in university tech transfer, corporate engagement, and sponsored research offices runs a significant risk of running afoul of tax exemption statutes — and that can create a compliance nightmare for your university and severe headaches for you.

What’s worse, these compliance threats are getting more numerous and more complex as commercial ventures and initiatives multiply and take new forms — for instance, companies that open on-campus labs, start-ups that use tax-exempt buildings and services, revenue from start-up equity, and industry partnerships that rely on campus resources. Non-compliance can result in fines, reputational damage, and even loss of non-profit status.

That’s why Technology Transfer Tactics, in partnership with Industry-Sponsored Research Management, is sponsoring this critical webinar: Preventing Tax Compliance Nightmares in University Tech Transfer and Industry-Sponsored Research. This session, scheduled for tomorrow, December 12, will address common tax issues associated with university research commercialization efforts, offering practical guidance from a seasoned university tax director, including a real-world case study of tax challenges faced by a major research institution.

You will leave this program with a thorough understanding of the tax issues that affect technology transfer and other research commercialization activities — and gain a full appreciation for the impact these issues can have on an institution when not managed appropriately. Plus, you’ll take home compliance guidance and strategies you can use to ensure you steer clear of common tax problems and complications. For complete details and to register, CLICK HERE.

ALSO COMING SOON:

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week, Webinars

Humana, U Houston partner on new med school in bid to boost population health


By David Schwartz
Published: December 11th, 2018

It may not be all that unique for a medical school and a corporation to collaborate, but this one’s a little different; you see, this medical school has not even opened yet (the inaugural class will begin study in the fall of 2020).

Humana Inc. and the University of Houston have begun a “long-term strategic partnership,” which includes a $15 million donation from Humana to help cover the new school’s start-up and operating costs. Humana will also be involved in the training of physicians at the soon-to-open University of Houston College of Medicine.

The key to the partnership is a shared vision of healthcare between Humana and UH. “I’m not aware of [many] health insurance company/medical school partnerships; there’s some distinctiveness to that,” asserts Stephen J. Spann, MD, founding dean of the UH College of Medicine. “One really great feature of this partnership is the alignment of the mission and goals of the two entities. While Humana is identified as a health or insurance company, they’re really focused on finding better ways to take care of people — populations of people — and creating a higher quality of care at a lower cost. Our big focus is training doctors, providing high value care and training healthcare teams to provide integrated care. That’s one of the real missions and goals of Humana.”

“Humana has an interest in helping advance the science of primary care,” adds Tray Cockerell, the insurer’s director of strategic relationships. “The University of Houston College of Medicine is a perfect opportunity for us to be on the ground floor with a partner that is establishing a school focused on population health, health equity, and providing care to the underserved population in Houston, TX, and beyond.”

Cockerell also feels strongly that this partnership is unique, in large part because the new med school’s focus is so closely aligned with Humana’s need for physicians in the region. “UH’s College of Medicine mission is to develop a medical school that will help meet a clearly identified need for more and better primary care physicians (PCPs) in the state of Texas,” he says. “Today, Texas has 71 PCPs per 100,000 people — which ranks an alarming 47th out of 50 states. Their distinctive focus on preparing primary care doctors with a better understanding of community health disparities will differentiate them from all other medical schools in Texas and from most institutions across the United States.”

Like most significant partnerships, this one took some ‘seed-planting.’ “Our advancement team met some of the folks at Humana two to three years ago, as we were just beginning to plan a medical school,” Spann recalls. “We had some early conversations, and in the relatively recent past a team of Humana leadership came down to talk with us in person about our plans for the school, our vision and mission, and the kind of training program we were envisioning — and they became very interested in what we’re doing. They saw some alignment in the kind of training program we’re developing and the kind of physicians they feel we need for the future.

How will Humana’s $15-million gift be applied to the new medical school? Spann says that $5 million went to five endowed chairs in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and optometry, “which I think recognizes the importance to Humana of team-based care,” he says. “They’re not just interested in a medical school and training doctors, but in creating an integrated healthcare team.”

The other $10 million, he says, will support start-up costs of the medical school. “A significant amount of that money will be spent in the development and opening of the ‘Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute,’” says Spann. “That will really focus on the training, education, research and even patient care service emphasizing improving the value of healthcare.” The institute, he notes, will be part of the medical school.

Does he anticipate additional financial relationships going forward? “I think that’s yet to be determined; hopefully it will be a long-term partnership and collaboration. We’ll see how it evolves,” says Spann.

A detailed article on the UH-Humana partnership appears in the November issue of Industry-Sponsored Research Management. To subscribe and access the full article, along with the publication’s entire archive of case studies, best practices, and success strategies for building long-term industry partnerships and engagement, CLICK HERE.

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

ExxonMobil sponsors Clemson’s next-gen sustainable concept vehicle


By David Schwartz
Published: December 11th, 2018

ExxonMobil is sponsoring a group of graduate automotive engineering students in the university’s flagship Deep Orange program who are seeking to develop a next-generation sustainable concept vehicle. continue reading »

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

U Pittsburgh to offer research services to industry through partnership with Scientist.com


By David Schwartz
Published: December 11th, 2018

Scientist.com, the world’s leading marketplace for outsourced scientific services, and the University of Pittsburgh have entered a partnership that will give medical companies access to the school’s latest translational research tools and technologies. continue reading »

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

Managing Conflicts of Interest in the Commercialization of University Research


By David Schwartz
Published: December 11th, 2018

Managing conflicts of interest (COIs) between funding sources and faculty researchers is always a tough challenge for tech transfer, sponsored research, and compliance offices that requires much coordination and careful handling. Although tech transfer and research managers recognize that conflicts are a given during the process of transferring IP either through a license agreement, spinout, or partnership, managing and mitigating those COIs is a seemingly never ending battle — and it’s fraught with danger not only for the university, but also for its faculty.

That’s why we’re created the three-session distance learning collection Managing Conflicts of Interest in the Commercialization of University Research, to provide a solid set of guidelines and proven strategies to ensure COI issues related to commercialization activity are addressed effectively. These three programs are included in the collection:

  • Blurred Lines and Gray Areas: Managing Conflicts of Interest in University Tech Transfer and Sponsored Research
  • Ensuring Compliance with Financial Conflict of Interest Regs
  • Best Practices for Managing Conflicts of Interest in Faculty Start Ups

For complete program and faculty details, or to order, CLICK HERE >>

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week, Webinars

U British Columbia to maintain research ties with Huawei


By David Schwartz
Published: December 11th, 2018

The University of British Columbia will mainting its research relationship with Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. despite the arrest of company’s chief financial officer in Vancouver last week. continue reading »

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

U Oklahoma, Boeing sign master agreement to increase research opportunities


By David Schwartz
Published: December 11th, 2018

A newly signed master research agreement between the University of Oklahoma and Boeing Co. will allow Boeing to more easily fund multiple projects at OU by streamlining paperwork and processes. continue reading »

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

LSU AgCenter and GB Sciences ink master research agreement to produce therapeutic cannabis products


By David Schwartz
Published: December 11th, 2018

After a competitive public bid process, the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center has selected GB Sciences Louisiana, a subsidiary of GB Sciences, Inc., as its public-private partner to cultivate and produce therapeutic cannabis products for patients with specific medical conditions. continue reading »

→ No CommentsPosted under: University-Industry Engagement Week