Industry-Sponsored Research Week
University-Industry Engagement Advisor

Survey of Best Practices in Pursuit of NIH SBIR & STTR Grants


By David Schwartz
Published: November 22nd, 2021

A benchmark report from Tech Transfer Central partner Primary Research Group provides a rich set of best practices and data to compare against your own strategies in pursuing NIH SBIR and STTR grants. In Survey of Best Practices in Pursuit of NIH SBIR & STTR Grants, you’ll find detailed data and dozens of easy to scan charts and figures displaying critical data you can’t find anywhere else, including:

  • Number of grants applied for and won by STTR and SBIR
  • Mean levels of funding and ranges
  • Subcontracting as a percentage of total funding
  • Percent of Phase 1 grant recipients that move to Phase 2 and Phase 3
  • Volume of applicants and grants
  • Staff time and use of consultants
  • Percentage of grants won by university spinouts
  • Advice and role models from exemplary programs
  • Use of grant discovery software and databases

For complete details and to order, click here.

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Yuexiu expands partnership with HKUST and donates another $13M


By David Schwartz
Published: November 22nd, 2021

On top of donations totaling HK$180 million (USD$23M) in the two previous years, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has received another HK$100 million (USD$13M) donation from Yuexiu Group to support the university’s efforts in teaching, research and talent development. Concurrently, HKUST and Yuexiu have signed a framework agreement to increase their cooperation in technology innovation, talent nurturing, and research commercialization. continue reading »

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Reorganizations are giving TTOs a much bigger role in industry engagement


By David Schwartz
Published: November 16th, 2021

A detailed article on the trend toward integration of tech transfer and industry engagement activity appears in the November issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor. For subscription information, click here. 

In a number of recent reorganizations, universities have combined a traditional tech transfer office with corporate engagement, and in many cases the TTOs are taking a much larger role than before. This is the result of a combination of trends; an expanded understanding of what a TTO is, and data showing a broader contribution to overall engagement than perhaps was previously recognized.

“What we saw when we looked back over three years’ worth of sponsored research agreements with companies — the top 25, with over $100 million in awards — was that 100% of those agreements involved support from our licensing team to negotiate the IP terms,” reports Kelly B. Sexton, PhD, associate vice president for research and innovation partnerships at the University of Michigan. “We also saw [their involvement in] start-ups created, which also engaged in sponsored research. We saw an emerging need to have closer ties to our IP licensing group to be very successful — to put in place the kinds of sponsored research groups that companies look to have.”

In response to these and other factors, the university recently announced the launch of Innovation Partnerships, a reorganized unit based in the Office of the Vice President for Research, which incorporates the rebranded Office of Technology Transfer and some elements and staff of the former Business Engagement Center.

The University of Utah went even further about 18 months ago, when it created a plan to use the TTO as the “foundational platform” for a combined unit, says Keith Marmer, chief innovation & engagement officer. “Then, we added not just corporate engagement, but economic development,” he notes. The organization, called The PIVOT Center (Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology), “is responsible for all three of those, and we operate them in a fully integrated fashion.”

These universities are not alone. For example, Sexton notes that U-M incorporated elements from several recent reorgs, including those at Johns Hopkins, MIT, and Penn. Other recent reorganizations giving a prominent industry engagement role to the TTO include Duke University, The University of Pittsburgh, CU Boulder, Drexel, UC Santa Cruz and Ohio State.

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UC System’s Drug Discovery Consortium continues to grow with addition of UC Santa Cruz


By David Schwartz
Published: November 16th, 2021

UC Santa Cruz has joined the University of California Drug Discovery Consortium (UC DDC), a multi-campus initiative that seeks to promote research translation through industry partnerships. continue reading »

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Non-Monetary Metrics that Every TTO Should be Tracking: Measuring Your Collaborative Culture


By David Schwartz
Published: November 16th, 2021

Too many TTOs have tunnel vision when it comes to metrics, seeing only licenses, revenues, patents, start-ups and other “hard” measures as important to track. These are certainly important, but the singular focus on monetary metrics risks losing focus on many of the factors that underlie those more tangible results.

After all, these numbers don’t come out of thin air, but are built through a host of collaborative platforms and initiatives — and the surrounding culture — that nurture the commercialization outcomes getting so much attention from administrators.

The way these programs and cultural factors impact the bottom line is difficult to quantify, and their contributions often get lost in the shuffle. But one office that measures and showcases these non-monetary metrics is UNeMed, University of Nebraska Medical Center’s TTO. They’ve emphasized these functions as part of their collaborative culture and tied them to specific financial results.  

To help you learn from their experience and successes, Tech Transfer Central has teamed up with UNeMed President and CEO Michael Dixon, PhD, and Joe Runge, Business Development Manager, to present this detailed, strategy-filled webinar: Non-Monetary Metrics that Every TTO Should be Tracking: Measuring Your Collaborative Culture, scheduled for December 16, 2021. For complete program details and to register, click here.

Also coming soon:

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U Chicago and AbbVie sign five-year extension of oncology research collaboration


By David Schwartz
Published: November 16th, 2021

The University of Chicago has extended a preclinical oncology research collaboration with AbbVie through 2025, hoping to build on an already successful partnership. continue reading »

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Ole Miss launches online portal for industry engagement


By David Schwartz
Published: November 16th, 2021

The University of Mississippi has launched a new online portal, the Industry Engagement Hub, in a bid to encourage industry partnerships. The portal showcases ideas, resources, and success stories involving corporate collaborations, which its developers how will inspire more industry leaders to partner with the university in innovative ways. continue reading »

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Best Practices in University Research and Tech Transfer Compliance


By David Schwartz
Published: November 16th, 2021

When it comes to matters of regulatory compliance in research, there is no room for error. Fortunately, strong education and airtight monitoring systems can prevent the damaging consequences of non-compliance that can result in a black mark on your university’s reputation – as well as its future research funding.

That’s why we’ve created the Best Practices in University Research and Tech Transfer Compliance distance learning collection. The collection consists of three distance learning programs, complete with all original program materials, filled with expert compliance guidance related to the Bayh-Dole Act, reporting guidelines for iEdison, and SBIR/STTR funding regulations.

You’ll receive the recorded programs as both on-demand video and transcript, so you can listen and share them with staff at your convenience in whatever format you choose. It’s a great addition to your training library you can use over and over again.

The three programs included are:

  • Bayh-Dole Compliance Check-up: Effectively Address the Challenge of Complacency
  • Maintaining Compliance with iEdison: A Practical Guide for Universities
  • Avoid SBIR/STTR Fraud and Abuse Allegations in University Research

For complete details, click here.

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NYU and industry partner launch Hospitality Innovation Hub


By David Schwartz
Published: November 16th, 2021

Last week, NYU’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality celebrated the launch of its recently constructed Hospitality Innovation Hub (HI Hub) and the Experiential Learning Lab contained within it. Attending the launch even were execs from stayntouch, a leading company in cloud-based hotel property management systems (PMS) and contactless technology that is providing its technology for use in the Learning Lab.

“We are exceptionally proud to announce the launch of the Hospitality Innovation Hub Experiential Learning Lab and our partnership with stayntouch,” said Nicolas Graf, associate dean of the Tisch Center of Hospitality. “It will provide our students with a greater understanding of the guest experience and the ways in which this technology can ultimately lead to greater staff empowerment. With the HI Hub and its new lab, we have a unique opportunity to push the boundaries on how we educate and prepare the innovators and entrepreneurs who will shape the future of an evolving hospitality market.”

In part by using stayntouch’s innovative technology, the HI Hub provides a state-of-the-art environment for hospitality students, start-ups, and industry partners to collaborate and learn about emerging challenges and technologies impacting the hospitality industry. Core components of the hub include the Learning Lab, prototyping space, a co-working lounge, and an incubator program that provides hospitality start-ups with three months of mentoring, co-working space, and access to industry leaders and investors.

As an inaugural partner, stayntouch is providing its systems as the staple technology enabling HI Hub faculty members and students to gain hands-on experience with the latest real-world technology. In addition, stayntouch will partner on research projects with faculty members, will participate in the incubator program, and will work with grad students on capstone projects.

Tom Underwood, CEO of stayntouch, heralded the new hub as a means of “helping to develop the next generation of the hospitality workforce…. Great hospitality thrives when hoteliers understand the relationship between technology and warm, engaging high-touch service. Our partnership with the HI Hub Experiential Learning Lab provides the unique opportunity to influence, and learn from, employees, entrepreneurs, and investors, and to help shape the future of the hospitality industry.”

Added Vanja Bogicevic, PhD, director of the HI Hub, “stayntouch has been a critical partner in realizing the mission of the HI Hub as the ecosystem for applied learning, entrepreneurship, and industry engagement. By providing their advanced cloud PMS and kiosk solutions, they empower our students to test ideas and gain first-hand experience running a tech-forward hotel. We look forward to expanding the partnership between the Tisch Center and stayntouch into 2022 with the capstone programs and the HI Hub’s Incubator, which will allow participants to take the concepts they learn in the HI Hub and transform them into tomorrow’s revolutionary start-ups.”

Source: hospitalitynet

Marketing Strategies that Attract and Engage Industry Partners is a targeted distance learning program that will provide you with a wealth of how-to advice on developing your marketing strategies to attract and secure solid, long-term industry partnerships. Click here for details.

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Monash U partnership with Woodside wins award from Australian financial publication


By David Schwartz
Published: November 16th, 2021

Monash University has won first place in the Industry Engagement category of the Australian Financial Review (AFR) Higher Education Awards. The partnership with energy giant Woodside is the largest single industry-academia partnership in Australia, already totaling AUD $66.5 million (nearly $49M US). continue reading »

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Schlumberger reaches out to HBCUs with its software donation program


By David Schwartz
Published: November 9th, 2021

A detailed article on Schlumberger’s expansion of its software donation program to HBCUs appears in the October issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor. For subscription information, click here. 

The American workforce experienced an unprecedented and challenging year as a result of the global pandemic and racial division in the wake of the George Floyd killing. This prompted many corporations to revisit their current support models around inclusivity, including their impact at HBCUs.

Schlumberger, spearheaded by their employee resource group (ERG) in a joint effort with UIDP (University-Industry Demonstration Partnership), began reviewing ways to incorporate long-lasting impact in their engagements with HBCUs. The technology company is the leading provider of digital solutions and innovative technologies to enable performance and sustainability for the global energy industry.

“Our Schlumberger ERG, BOLD (Black Organization for Leadership & Diversity), saw the need to expose HBCUs and other colleges to our software donation program, which provides over 70,000 licenses worldwide annually,” explained April Duerson, business engagement lead for Schlumberger and BOLD committee member.

The initiative offers universities the use of the company’s software as part of their curricula. There are numerous software offerings available for educational use. One example, the Petrel E&P software platform, analyzes underground activities for geological surveys and is widely used by engineers to conduct oil and gas and climate change research. These licenses are intended to give students early exposure to prepare them for internships and careers after graduation. In addition, the donation program empowers research at the university level.

“We have 400 universities in the program worldwide, in more than 120 countries,” says Marina Bulova, Schlumberger’s director of university collaborations. The program’s main goal, she continues, is to give the software to students so they can use it for educational and research activities. “We want students to be equipped with our software so when they join the workforce, either with an operator or with Schlumberger, students already know the basics,” says Bulova.

As part of its initial efforts, the BOLD ERG identified that Schlumberger had no HBCUs leveraging the software donation program. “This was primarily due to the lack of awareness of this fantastic opportunity,” says Duerson, herself a product of a HBCU, noting that Schlumberger now serves on UIDP’s HBCU Steering Committee. “Schlumberger’s goal in partnering with UIDP is to expand our outreach to all universities,” she says.

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Lockheed Martin inks master research agreement with Notre Dame focused on aerospace innovation


By David Schwartz
Published: November 9th, 2021

The University of Notre Dame and Lockheed Martin Corporation signed a Master Research Agreement last week, designed to speed and facilitate future aerospace research collaborations. continue reading »

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