Industry-Sponsored Research Week

U Calgary and Rogers Communications partner on Internet of Things research


By David Schwartz
Published: June 23rd, 2020

The University of Calgary and Canadian technology and media company Rogers Communications have finalized a five-year agreement to advance innovative Internet of Things (IoT) research that they hope will give Canadian businesses a leg up in the emerging IoT market. They have also established the Rogers Internet of Things Chair under the leadership of Steven Liang, PhD. Liang is a globally recognized influencer and renowned IoT researcher. continue reading »

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Penn State College of Engineering names interim senior director of corporate and industry engagement


By David Schwartz
Published: June 23rd, 2020

In an effort to strengthen and expand connections with industry partners, the Penn State College of Engineering has named Priya Baboo — director of industry, innovation and development in the College of Engineering — as interim senior director of corporate and industry engagement. continue reading »

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Survey of Research University Leadership: View of Technology Transfer and Sponsored Research Offices


By David Schwartz
Published: June 23rd, 2020

The International Survey of Research University Leadership: View of Technology Transfer and Sponsored Research Offices includes 70 pages of in-depth commentary and analysis based on extensive surveying of 53 colleges and universities.

This one-of-a-kind resource provides a rich set of benchmarks and data to compare against your own university’s technology transfer and sponsored research efforts. You’ll find detailed data on promoting technologies, staffing, budgets, managing patents, obtaining research grants, promoting technologies, incentivizing staff for IP creation, and publicizing research achievements, along with invaluable peer advice. This study is jam-packed with dozens of easy to scan charts and figures displaying critical data you can’t find in any other publication.

Click here for more details or to order.

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Monash U and Janssen collaboration aims to improve diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease


By David Schwartz
Published: June 23rd, 2020

A multiyear research collaboration between Monash University and Janssen Biotech seeks to better understand the immune mechanisms behind celiac disease, which they hope will pave the way for new ways to diagnose and treat the condition. continue reading »

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MITRE and UIDP hosting free webinar on collaboration to accelerate COVID-19 response


By David Schwartz
Published: June 23rd, 2020

UIDP and MITRE, which manages operations for the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, are hosting a free webinar on July 1 that will focus on how partnerships can leverage data and supply chain management to advance innovations aimed at defeating the novel coronavirus.

The coalition managed by MITRE is a private sector-led effort that brings together healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia, and startups to quickly address government and community problems related to the pandemic. Those partners are working to provide data-driven, real-time insights that help leaders across the U.S. make decisions on how to protect their populations.

The webinar will dive into the data streams that affect tracking and forecasting related to the pandemic — from cases and mortality to PPE — and how supply chains are affected. An expert panel will address data capture, analysis, and a collaborative systems approach to meeting the challenges of COVID-19.

For complete details and to register, click here.

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Universities, industry find alternative approaches for summer internships


By David Schwartz
Published: June 16th, 2020

A detailed article on the status of industry internship programs for university students appears in the June issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor. For subscription details, click here.

As it has done with university-industry research, the coronavirus has had a tremendous impact on collaborative internships and co-op programs. Unlike research, however, which in many cases had to be shut down, these collaborations have for the most part found a way to continue — albeit using distinctly different models.

A recent survey by UIDP showed that 83.3% of the 60 respondents planned to continue their internships and co-ops this summer, and that nearly three-quarters of them would use a mix of virtual and in person programs.

And Stephanie Kit, director of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Center for Career Development, tells UIEA that The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which has been routinely surveying employers, reports that 75% of employers have made changes to their internship, with 40% introducing virtual internships (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/24/how-internships-have-been-impacted-by-coronavirus.html).

Internship and co-op programs with business and industry will definitely continue this summer, says Helen Oloroso, assistant dean and director of Engineering Career Development at Northwestern University. “Sometime in March the university issued a decree that all internships be stopped for the spring and summer,” she reports. “I wrote back politely and said these are positions the students got on their own; I did not place them into these slots, and I have no right to say to a student, ‘Sorry, you can’t,’” she adds. “That’s the approach we’re taking.”

“Yes, there will be [internships], although with modifications,” adds Mario Vela, executive director of the University Career Center at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Internship and co-op programs will also continue at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, says Marisa Moazen, PhD, assistant vice chancellor for research engagement and director, Office of Undergraduate Research there. “We have a lot of offices working on internships; mine are research related,” she explains. “The student population is interested in working with [potential employers], and they sometimes throw caution to the wind, so they may be more eager to go on in-person internships than others.”

Auburn University will also see internship and co-op activities continue this summer, says Charlie Wilder, PhD, associate director of cooperative education, who runs the co-op programs. Whether the programs are virtual or not depends on the company — what kind they are, and what work they do, he says.

“COVID-19 has obviously presented challenges and safety concerns for everyone,” adds Jennifer Stubbs, MEd, assistant director of recruiting and employer engagement and instructor at The Pennsylvania State University. “In response to these concerns, Penn State is encouraging all students to pursue virtual internships or co-ops.”

Not all the respondents were as sanguine as the majority. “We have seen many employers who work with us had to either rescind those offers or who have modified to make them virtual,” says Paul Timmins, executive director of the University Career Center, University of Oregon. “As a campus, the virtual intern experience is what most of our kids do — if they can find any.”

And David Durham, director of the Career Center at West Virginia University, says that internships have been impacted “more than anything else because of rescinded offers.” A lot depends on the nature of the company, he adds. “If they’re ‘critical’ and they’re operating, they’re bringing students on,” says Durham. “But if companies are laying off or furloughing rank and file workers it can be pretty awkward to bring in student workers.” He surmises the figure of cancelled internships “is probably in the 20% range.”

Since co-ops are more of a long-term investment, he continues, he has not seen as many employers rescind their offers. “Some have had a delay in starts, so instead of right after school is over some delayed until June 1st or June 15th,” he says.

While these universities are in partnership with industry, it seems that for the most part industry is calling the shots concerning whether their programs will continue in the summer. “Employers take the lead,” says Timmins.

“We let the industry partner make that decision,” adds Wilder. “We do not feel we would be right stepping in and saying who could and who could not work.” However, he adds, his office has communicated with students to make sure they’ve talked to the companies if they had health concerns. “If there are any health issues, we try as best we can to empower [students] to speak up — we encourage them to have conversations with the employers,” he adds. “We’ve functioned as mediators.”

Whether the programs are virtual or in person, universities and their partners have had to make adjustments to the new reality. “The students and employers have made this pivot in parallel to each other,” says Oloroso.

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Biopharma company launches “Talent Pipeline Program” offering one-year internships to new grads


By David Schwartz
Published: June 16th, 2020

PTC Therapeutics is launching the Talent Pipeline Program (TPP), a one-year global internship program that will provide recent graduates with real-world experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and related professions. Interns will be trained in an array of arenas including research, finance, compliance, quality, legal, information technology, and communications. Throughout the immersive program, interns will receive mentorship, job coaching, career counseling, and leadership training. continue reading »

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Tech transfer directors to share plans for return to campus


By David Schwartz
Published: June 16th, 2020

The transition to off-campus, remote working environments came swiftly and without the luxury of much advanced planning for many TTOs and industry engagement offices.

Now, just as staff get comfortable in their new daily routines, federal and state governments are eager to re-open the country and get back to “normal.” Research labs are beginning non-essential work again, plans for the fall semester are coming into focus, and TTOs face the difficult challenge of determining when and how to resume on-campus activity — and what that should look like as safety guidelines, research activity, and budget issues evolve.

To help inform and guide you, Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division has teamed up with TTO directors from three universities facing vastly different pandemic impacts and issues — MIT, University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, and University of Nebraska. They will discuss the ongoing effects of the shutdown on their TTOs, their assessments and plans for transitioning back to campus, and what the future holds for their offices, their staff, and the faculty, students, and other stakeholders they serve.

Join us for this insightful and critically important webinar: Planning and Assessment for Safely Re-Opening On-Campus Tech Transfer Office Operations, scheduled for June 24th.

Click here for complete program and faculty details and to register.

Also coming soon:

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UW-Madison partners with InStride to offer online education for employer workforce 


By David Schwartz
Published: June 16th, 2020

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is partnering with InStride, a global network of high-quality academic institutions, to help offer employees of large companies the benefits of a UW­-Madison degree. continue reading »

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Mass General and Voltron Therapeutics enter sponsored research agreement to develop personalized cancer vaccine


By David Schwartz
Published: June 16th, 2020

Massachusetts General Hospital’s Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC) and Voltron Therapeutics, Inc. have signed a sponsored research agreement that will focus on developing and optimizing potent compounds for inhibiting tumor growth in ovarian cancer brought on by human papilloma virus. The research will leverage VaxCelerate, a self-assembling vaccine platform licensed by Partners HealthCare exclusively to Voltron. continue reading »

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Risk Assessment and Reporting Requirements for Foreign Research Relationships


By David Schwartz
Published: June 16th, 2020

In just the past few weeks, more arrests of faculty from U.S. universities have been made for failure to disclose financial ties to the Chinese government, and more than a dozen major research institutions are under federal investigation.

The ongoing investigations and enforcement action come on the heels of last year’s NIH letter to grant-receiving institutions raising concerns of inappropriate influence by foreign entities. More than 50 universities have now been asked to investigate specific threats. Several labs have fired researchers over failure to disclose foreign relationships and funding, and the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies are looking into potential security risks associated with foreign talent recruitment programs. 

It’s a problem that isn’t going away. That’s why Tech Transfer Central has created this distance learning collection dedicated to improving your assessment strategies and compliance with reporting requirements. Risk Assessment and Reporting Requirements for Foreign Research Relationships features two recorded programs in our digital package format — on-demand video and print transcript — so you can view and share them with your entire staff on or off campus at your convenience.

The two programs are:

  • Navigating Foreign Relationships and Reporting Requirements in University Research, presented by: David Ivey, UT-Austin’s Export Control Officer and Export Compliance Counsel and providing a solid plan of action for both policy and real-world practice from a compliance veteran.
  • Mitigating Risks Associated with Foreign Research Collaborators, presented by: Wendy Epley, Principal, Wendy Epley Consulting. You’ll learn how to comply with the added security measures being required by federal agencies, identify red flags, and spot subtle clues of inappropriate foreign influence so your university can protect its research and its reputation.

Click here for complete program and faculty details or to order.

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UC-Riverside holds virtual career fair and gets plenty of action


By David Schwartz
Published: June 16th, 2020

Traditional career fairs at universities have been absent during the COVID-19 shutdown, but that didn’t stop the University of California-Riverside. It’s 2020 career fair using Zoom attracted plenty of companies and students – and almost as many job offers.

“I had an internship offer at a software company, but it got discontinued just like many other people’s offers because of COVID-19,” said UC-Riverside senior Heidi Chen. Although her paid summer internship fell through because of the pandemic, a previous internship at a digital marketing start-up has turned into a full-time job.

“At UC Riverside, we’ve actually seen a 15% increase of new jobs posted in April compared to the month of March. We’re approving about 130 new jobs each day for UC-Riverside students,” said Sean Gil, director of the UC-Riverside Career Center.

Gil said the way you interview and where you work from has changed, but job listings haven’t dried up for students. One trend he’s noticed is a rise in micro-internships — sort of extended job interview.

“Micro-internships are short-term paid professional projects that are completed by college students or recent graduates on behalf of busy professionals,” said Jeffrey Moss, founder and CEO of Parker Dewey, a firm that specializes in connecting students with companies seeking contract work.

During the pandemic, UC-Riverside’s Career Center has had companies reaching out to help them turn office jobs into remote jobs so they can continue to fill positions.

Source: ABC7

International Survey of Best Practices in Online Education for Research Universities is one-of-a-kind source of specialized survey data on transitioning to online education from 48 of the world’s leading research universities. Click here for details.

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